Mojo. By Tim Tharp. 7 CDs. 8:09 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 978-0-385-36367-9. $40.
Gr 9 Up–Dylan is a husky high school junior with a craving for burgers, a penchant for retro T-shirts, and a dream of owning a ’69 Mustang and pursuing a career in journalism. But a lack of respect at school and a run-in with a corpse in a dumpster lead him to determine that what he really needs is mojo. When he hears about a missing girl from an elite high school across town, he sees the perfect opportunity to track her down and gain some notoriety. His pseudo-detective gig leads him to an organization called Gangland where he becomes involved with upper-crust society and a way of life he had previously never even dreamed of. Serious themes such as anti-bullying and gay rights are skillfully woven into the story with edgy humor. Jessie Bernstein’s narration of Tharp’s story (Knopf, 2013) is stellar, and his amusing and distinct character voices add to the tale’s humor. Wildly careening plot twists, fabulous characters, and madcap antics all add up to some serious mojo. Alcohol and drug use, swearing, lesbian relationships, strippers, and more combine to make this choice most appropriate for high school students.–Lisa Hubler, CharlesF.BrushHigh School, Lyndhurst, OH