by Louis Sachar
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Well, this premise is completely creepy and not at all out of the realm of possibility. There’s a new alternative fuel out there which has gotten into the mud and in contact with the skin of Tamaya, Marshall, and Chad. Once it has skin contact, the ergonyms inside the fuel eat the person’s skin and they are left with bloody blisters at best, blindness at worst (if it gets into your eyes). (Ew.) Complicating things a bit is the three kids’ relationships with each other and their reasons for hiding the truth from adults (some of whom don’t really listen anyway, like the school secretary/nurse) – Chad has been bullying Marshall for years; Tamaya has looked up to Marshall for ages and they walk home from school together at her mother’s insistence. Chad has a breakthrough and I think bullies (or potential bullies) will see themselves in him. This new story by Sachar is much more like Holes than like Sideways Stories from Wayside School and I loved it.