FICTION

Worse Than Weird

HarperCollins. Mar. 2020. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062852588.
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Gr 3-7–Middle-schooler MacKenna MacKensie MacLeod thinks that “three Macs is excessive,” so she just goes by Mac. Her name isn’t the only thing that aspiring coder Mac finds to be a little too much. Her kale-loving, naked-biking, drum-circling parents can be a lot to live with, and she knows that they will neither approve of nor want to pay for the coding camp that she’s set her heart on. With the help of her two friends and an enigmatic newcomer with family issues of his own, she sets out to raise the money by winning a food truck promotional scavenger hunt. Since she’s in Portland, OR, there are a lot of food trucks, and things quickly start getting complicated. The quest is quirky to the point of the occasional eye roll, and most of the adults are close to caricatures, but readers will enjoy Mac’s dynamic with her friends. There’s plenty of warmth and fun mixed in with the twee.
VERDICT A good bet for fans of Emma Donoghue’s “The Lotterys” books or Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s “Book Scavenger” series.

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