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How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy


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About the Author

Crystal Allen is the author of How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy, which received a Florida Sunshine State Award Master List nomination and was a Junior Library Guild selection. She is also the author of the acclaimed middle grade novels The Laura Line, The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown, and The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game. She currently lives in Sugar Land, Texas, with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua. You can visit her website at


Under all the braggadocio is a boy with a big heart, and from the first sentence Lamar will have readers hooked.--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Gr 5-8-Lamar, 13, wants nothing more than an idyllic summer hanging out at Striker's Bowling Paradise, girl watching, and eating. The trouble is, his reputation as a prankster has left him without a girlfriend, and problems at home have made him feel empty and confused. His brother's basketball skills have earned him the nickname "Xavier the Basketball Savior." Lamar feels that since his mother's death, his father has pinned all of his hopes and dreams on Xavier. Things intensify when Lamar sees a poster advertising a contest sponsored by pro bowler Bubba Sanders to win a "Pro Thunder" bowling ball. Billy Jenks, the school troublemaker, convinces Lamar that by hustling bowling games he can earn the money to buy his own ball and impress Bubba. Listeners will be eager to find out if Lamar's conscience kicks in before he gets into big trouble. Crystal Allen's debut novel (Balzer + Bray, 2011) is a fresh and clever story involving the themes of peer pressure and family problems. Allen has an uncanny ability to see into the hearts of teenage boys, while narrator Muhammed Cunningham speaks from their souls. He has impressive range as he handles Lamar's trash-talking, Midwestern corny humor and teen angst with equal aplomb. Fans of Jeff Kinney's The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will love this brilliant and sometimes humorous snapshot of life in many inner city communities and the pressures facing teens living there.-Lisa Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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