Video gaming is one of the topics that shows up with alarming regularity on my student interest surveys, but there have been relatively few books that portray tweens with this interest. Of course, this has a subtle message that there are more things kids could be doing in the world, but it is delivered with a large dose of humor.
As with any Korman book, the biggest draw for me is the writing. It is fast-paced (all middle grade books should start with an explosion, or with immolating ziti!) and packed with laugh out loud phrases. My favorite passage (from the ARC): "How many members does the Positive Action Group have?" Members? Exactly the same number as the Stick-Your-Head-in-the-Furnace Club and the Leap-the -Grand-Canyon Society."
The only downside to this book is having to decide how MANY copies of it to buy! Slacker is the perfect middle grade novel about pursuing one's passions, however misguided!