Friday, February 8, 2013

DUNK by David Lubar

OK, this is one of those books that grabbed me right from the start, but I know it's going to be a tough review to write.  For some reason, the books I really like are the toughest to review.  Does anyone else feel that way?

Summer on the New Jersey shore is all about the boardwalk entertainment.  Chad and his friends walk from one end to the other every day.  With little money to spend, they carefully pick and choose which games, rides, or food vendors will get their meager funds. 

This summer Chad's best buddy, Jason, is intent on playing volleyball nonstop.  Volleyball isn't Chad's thing; he is fascinated by the dunk tank and a particular Bozo who works the game.  The guy is amazing!  He picks his mark out of the crowd and hurtles comedic insults with laser precision.  Chad watches him every chance he gets and wishes he could climb into the tank and yell at the world, too.  When Chad first discovers the Bozo working in the dunk tank is the same guy renting their upstairs apartment, he isn't pleased, but when the guy offers to coach him on the finer points of comedy, Chad can't wait to get started.

The summer takes a bad turn when Chad's friend Jason ends up in the hospital.  Normally, a healthy athlete with energy to burn, Jason develops an autoimmune disease that threatens not only his summer volleyball, but maybe even his life.  Chad's summer becomes going back and forth from the hospital to his job picking up balls around the dunk tank.  He desperately tries to use his new love of comedy to help inspire his sick friend's recovery.

Author David Lubar explores the bonds of friendship and the healing elements of laughter in DUNK.  Chad learns that friendship is about love and laughter and trusting enough to share the good times and the bad.

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