Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Fourth Stall - Chris Rylander

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander
Christian who goes by the nickname Mac runs a business in school, helping other students out with this problems. Vince is Mac's best friend and partner. Mac's office is the fourth Stall in East Wings boys bathroom. Mac has built a name for himself and does great business. Everything is threatened when Mac learns that Staples, a high school crime boss is setting up business at his school.

There are a few other (not many) very fun middle grade novels in the same vein as The Fourth Stall. Though this one stands apart because Mac isn't all that good. Mac will help other students get answers to test or sneak into PG 13 movies. After Mac said in his business he helped other students cheat, I was like uh-oh. Though then I remembered its fun to read about a character who would do something you would never do. Mac is definitely the good guy here. He's a great friend to Vince and listens to his parents.

Mac must figure out a way to get Staples operation in his school closed down. He is forced to ask the school bullies for help. One of the books strengths is back information. Mac, outlines all nine bullies, from Nubby to Kitten the top bully. Also in the beginning Mac explains how he came to acquire the fourth stall as his office. The explanation fit smoothly into the story and made sense.

Rylander tells a good and entertaining story. Some of it, like high school students going to war with middle grade students is a bit over the top. Though Mac's likability and his friendship with Vince keeps it grounded. Mac and Vince love the Chicago Cubs. They do their best to stump each other with Cubs trivia.

My favorite small character was Tyrell, the schools best spy. Mac only uses his services when he has no other choice. When Mac realizes there's one of his people is giving Staples insider information, he calls on Tyrell.

When I first saw the cover of The Fourth Stall, I thought it was something I would enjoy. I was right. This is a great suggestion for fans of Grief Carver, Hallway Patrol by Jim Krieg, The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo or Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer

1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This reminds me of a movie...Charlie Bartlett. That's not for the MG crowd, but Charlie runs a "business" in the bathroom stall at school, except he actually gives pills he's gotten from doctors. Like I said, it's an older YA film.

Sounds like a cute book though.

-Let's Get Beyond Tolerance