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by Hautman, Pete






Entering the world's greatest pizza-eating contest after secretly putting thousands of dollars onto his mother's credit card, a young competitive eater finds his efforts complicated by family denial about his younger brother's autism. By the National Book Award-winning author of Godless.





Pete Hautman is the author of many books for young adults and adults, including the National Book Award–winning Godless, the Klaatu Diskos trilogy, and Eden West. Pete Hautman divides his time between Wisconsin and Minnesota.





*Starred Review* Jack-of-all-genres Hautman turns to the mouthwatering, madcap world of competitive eating. Narrator David admires the greats: Joey Chestnut, who can down 70 dogs in 10 minutes; Takeru Kobayashi, a Guinness Record-holding lightweight; and his personal favorite, Jooky Garofalo-who legendarily lost a Nathan's Famous championship by one single half dog. David can't believe when Jooky's unfinished dog appears on auction site BuyBuy.com. And he's floored when his bid for the "piece of history" wins. Unfortunately, one mistyped decimal point means BuyBuy just charged $2,000-not $20-to his mother's credit card. David may be able to inhale a single pizza in under five minutes, but to win the Super Pigorino Bowl's $5,000 grand prize-and repay his mom-he'll have to train like never before. More than a story of stomach-shattering determination, this is also an unflinching exploration of David's bond with little brother Mal, who, though their mother forbids the label, has been diagnosed with autism. With crystalline prose, delectable detail, rip-roaring humor, and larger-than-life characters, Hautman gracefully examines what it means to be a friend, a family member, and, through it all, a kid trying to do the right thing. Readers will race to devour it, but like Papa Pigorino's colossal BDT pizzas, this infectious tale is a thing to be savored. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





Winning a competitive eating contest is David's only hope of avoiding being grounded for life after he does something stupid with his mother's credit card. Already an avid eater and a fan of the "sport," David Miller, 14, figures that he's really going to have to up his game after accidently spending $2,000 in an online auction for what is billed as the very hot-dog half that cost pro eater Jooky Garafalo last year's Nathan's Famous contest. Fortunately, local pizzeria Pigorino's is sponsoring a competition at the Iowa State Fair with a $5,000 first prize. Unfortunately, David will have to beat out not only a roster of gifted amateurs to make and win the finals, but also a pair of professionals—notably the renowned but unscrupulous El Gurgitator. As much gourmet as gourmand, David not only vividly chronicles awe-inspiring gustatory feats as he gears up and passes through qualifiers, but describes food with unseemly intensity: "Disks of pepperoni shimmer and glisten on a sea of molten mozzarella." Even better, though, is the easy, natural way he interacts with Mal, a younger brother whose neurological disability (the term "autistic" is banned from family discourse) transforms but does not conceal a rich internal life. Other subplots, such as a developing relationship between David's longtime friends Hayden (who is evidently white) and Korean-American Cyn, further enrich a tale in which his own tests and his loving, white family's determined quest to discover what they dub "Mal's Rules" both result in thrilling, hard-won triumphs. Winning views of a family pulling together, of young people stumbling into adolescence, and of an entertaining if controversial pursuit, "reverse-eating events" and all. (Fiction. 12-14) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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