ISBN 978-0-7636-9070-0 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-7
Middle child David Alan Miller, a rising freshman in Vacaville, Iowa, has found a way to distinguish himself between his two oxygen-sucking siblings, his perfect, college-age sister, Bridgette, and his autistic younger brother, Mal: David eats. You’d never know it to look at him, but he has that bottomless adolescent-guy stomach that seemingly cannot be filled, and he has turned this trait into a competitive skill. After getting swindled out of $2000 that he sort-of-accidentally put on Mom’s credit card (for an auctioned half-a-hotdog from a professional competitive eater), he needs to raise some cash before the bill comes. His big chance at covering his tracks arrives in the form of the Super Pigorino Bowl pizza chow down, with its $5000 prize. Not everyone plays fair at these galas of gluttony, though, and all of David’s nauseating training and his parents’ reluctant acquiescence may come to naught when he goes slice to slice with the pros. Family relationships and buddy support are authentically drawn, and the bones of the plot are sturdy; a few too many episodes revolving around David’s stomach-stretching training give the tale an overstuffed feel, but the resolution is satisfying and readers will come away thoroughly entertained. Even if they take a pass on pizza and burgers for a couple of days.