Slamdown Town

Abrams/Amulet. Jan. 2020. 320p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781419738852.
Gr 3-6–Ollie is a small, white kid who has wrestling in his blood. His mother was once a pro wrestler who was on her way to stardom when Werewrestler (actual name), cheated and stole a major victory from her. Because of this fateful event, she is now an overworked, underpaid referee at Slamdown Town, the local wrestling arena. His mother is, for lack of other words, miserable, and Ollie can relate. Being a sixth grader isn’t going very well. He daydreams too much, and his big brother, Hollis, tortures him regularly. Ollie wishes he could hang Hollis from the roof by his tighty-whities. His whole world changes when Ollie discovers a piece of gum that, when chewed, transforms him into a towering, muscle-bound, lean, mean, wrestling machine. Entering the ring as “Big Chew,” Ollie’s only mission is to defeat the Werewrestler in his mother’s honor. Despite the description of captivating costumes and amazing signature moves, this narrative is somewhat lacking. The plot lines are not very believable or logical.
VERDICT Readers who don’t mind formulaic text might stick with this one. However, with its length, the reluctant reader will likely lose interest quickly. Not recommended.

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