I have wanted to read Hidden Talents by David Lubar for a long time. I started it once, but the first few pages were so much like Holes I thought "Been there, done that" and hopped off the bus. Shortly after that, I felt I had to spend every spare minute revising my first novel to get ready for a writer's conference in June. When I got home from that I felt I had to write the new book I started at the writer's conference. Now, four months later, I'm having a week of rebellion and I'm reading everything in sight.
Oh, it has been so nice to lie on the couch (lie, not lay) for hours and read! This is why I write, why I slave and stress and work and burn the candle at both ends and in the middle, so that somewhere, someday, someone can lie on the couch with one of my books and let the whole rest of the world melt away.
But I was going to tell you about Hidden Talents. This time, I'm glad I stayed on for the ride. The book is clever, fun, and it even has a great sequel! I read them both in one day. The main character is a boy who has such a smart mouth that he's been sent to alternative school for very bad boys. He gets a pyro for a roommate, makes freinds with a clepto and a pathological cheater, and fills out his crowd with a hyperactive boy who wears his hair in little braids (that was one of my favorite parts) and a kid famous for randomly throwing objects.
They all have one thing in common, one thing they haven't discovered yet.
None of it is their fault.
There is some language in this book I wouldn't want to hear my kids use, but other than that, nothing objectionable. The sequel is more action oriented and less contemplative, but still clever and well written. I recommend them both.