Everyone in the cafeteria stood in a stunned silence. It was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop-or, in this case, a green bean plonk to the floor. The eerie stillness made it hard to believe that just moments ago, kids were hooting and hollering and ducking for cover as vegetables flew through the air at high speed.
Deborah Sherman’s Food Fight begins with an epic “food fight” in the cafeteria of J.R. Wilcott middle school. The three suspected of instigating the “food fight” are the focus of this book, with each character being discussed in rotation through 36 chapters and an epilogue.
Suspect number one: Andrea Hackenpack is bent on becoming the school president as an extra- curricular activity. She is one busy and ambitious young lady as her other activities include percussion in the school band, swim team free-style swimming, and editor of the grade seven gazette. When her friend accuses her of being a control freak and a super “bossypants”, minding everyone’s business, Andrea devises a plan to make her mark by creating a bossypants app where she can dispense advice with the help of J. R. Wilcott’s resident techie Harold Warmold. Andrea’s master plan is to get a “scholarship to Fitzpatrick All-Girls Private High School, Harvard Undergrad, Yale Law School, and internship with the Governor General and then a job in parliament”.
Suspect number two: Ralph Dorph wants to make friends. He and his sister Mara have moved numerous times, and J.R. Wilcott middle school is his fifth school in six years. The chess club just isn’t appealing, and he is lonely. After seeing the bright pink flyer advertising the bossypants app, he decides to ask for advice:
Can you give me some advice on how to make some good friends?
From New to Wilcott
Suspect number three: Joe Jacobs has a crush on Daniela Olafsson but is unsure how to get her attention. He downloads the bossypants app onto his brother Marios’ phone, and, with the help of his brothers, he drafts an email:
How can I impress a girl I really like a lot?
New to women
Without giving too much away, what ensues is a very fun, clever, and well-written read. The characters are extremely relatable for just about anyone – who didn’t know (or doesn’t know) a determined classmate, or someone who is new to a school? How about someone trying to win over a guy or a gal? Sherman reveals Andrea, Ralph and Joe’s inner thoughts and feelings not only through the use of the first person but also via some great interchanges with family members, classmates, teachers, and friends. It is very easy to get immersed and invested.
Needless to say, with frustrations mounting on so many levels, it is inevitable the food fight would take place – and what a food fight it was! Sherman’s descriptions are so vivid the reader would surely feel like they were present in the cafeteria!
Snacks sailed through the air. Appetizers, main courses and desserts were all fair game. In less than three minutes, the J.R. Wilcott cafeteria was coated in white, starchy potato sludge. Brown meatloaf stained the ceiling as smashed green peas covered kids and backpacks alike.
Make Deborah Sherman’s Food Fight your next purchase or read. Highly endorsed for adults in the family as well!
Harriet Minuk is a librarian at Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, Manitoba.