Dunk

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1710 0
Dunk
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
September 23, 2002
ISBN
061819455X
Buy This Book
      
To the Bozo, the clown who sits inside the cage above the dunk tank, everyone is a "mark." Once he has zeroed in on his victim, the Bozo comes up with the perfect wisecrack something funny enough to make people stop and listen, and cruel enough to hook the mark. Now the mark is bent on revenge, and he'll buy however many balls he needs to hit the target and see the Bozo plunge into the water. It's a game that fascinates Chad, who lives on the Jersey shore, where the boardwalk turns into an amusement park every summer. He wishes he could shout at the world from the safety of a cage his dad ran out on him and his mom, and now everyone seems convinced that Chad will wind up a loser, too. He's determined to get a job playing the Bozo, something he knows he'd be good at. Suddenly, Chad finds himself thrown into a strange and twisted world, where humor has far more power than he ever imagined.

With a crackling plot and smart, funny dialogue, Dunk pulls readers along on a journey that exposes a universal truth: We all need to laugh.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Ever want to be a bozo?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Dunk is a really good book with great characters. That's not to say they are all nice characters, but they are real, fleshed out, honest-to-goodness characters that jump off the pages of the book and live with you while you read it.

Chad, the main character, is a mixed-up, sometimes messed-up teen. His father, who is no longer around, was a deadbeat and Chad has fears that he himself will turn into one, or that people think he is already like his dad. His mother works hard, but doesn't want Chad to work since she had to work when she was young. Instead, she takes in a boarder.

That leaves Chad with a lot of time on his hands to spend at the boardwalk on the Jersey shore. That's where he discovers the Bozo.

The Bozo's job is to insult people into spending their hard earned money on the chance that they can throw a ball and knock him into a dunk tank. As soon as Chad sees him, he wants the job.

However, it turns out that his mother's boarder is also the Bozo. At first, Chad can't stand Malcolm's strange character swings (Malcolm is a talented actor, but odd with a capital O), but he learns to like him and finally, to trust him.

Malcolm teaches him that there's a lot more to being a Bozo than simply insulting someone. He also teaches him that laughter is sometimes the best medicine for a broken heart, a broken body and even for a broken soul.

The quest to become a Bozo isn't Chad's only challenge. His best friend Jason, ever the athlete, is struck down by a mysterious illness that leaves him weak and hopeless in a hospital room. Chad feels powerless in the face of his friend's sickness and trapped in the face of Jason's mother's contempt. She unreasonably blames Chad for the illness and thinks he is hurting, rather than helping, the situation.

There's also another storyline that involves a girl. Chad is competing for her affections with Anthony, a regular scumbucket with the face of an angel.

All of it ties together with Chad's journey from boyhood into manhood, dragged there kicking and screaming by the healing power of laughter. That's what makes this a great book--this isn't your stereotypical coming-of-age story. You don't even like Chad all the time (and neither do the police), but you can understand him.

I recommend this book for all YA readers. It could also be used for some great classroom exercises, such as discussions about the fine line between humor and cruelty (very applicable in school) or having kids come up with Bozo-like insults.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Faith has always known she was different and her...
The Mall
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...

Latest Member Reviews

TBH, This is SO Awkward
 
4.0
"'TBH, This is SO Awkward: A Novel in Text' by Lisa Greenwald is quite interesting in that it is written..."
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
"I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount..."
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
"Mr. Penguins and his friends Colin the spider and Edith are trying to keep a rock safe from dastardly types..."
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
"POP-UP PEEKABOO! BABY ANIMALS is a charming lift-the-flap and pop-up picture book. Each spread features a parent animal who is..."
On These Magic Shores
 
5.0
"Twelve-year-old Minerva "Minnie" Soledad Miranda has big goals. She wants to be the first Latina president of the United States..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them..."
Soldier Dogs #5: Battle of the Bulge
 
4.5
"Juliette's father is a baker in Belgium in 1944, and has been threatened by the occupying Nazis into giving them..."
Dog Days in the City
 
4.0
"In The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie and her large family adopted Hamlet, a pig. When..."
Daniel Coldstar #2: The Betrayer
 
4.0
"Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central After the evens in The Relic War, Daniel, Jasper the..."
The Dragon Egg Princess
 
5.0
"Change is coming to Kidahara, a magical forest in the Joson, a kingdom in a diverse realm where there is..."
Efrén Divided
 
5.0
"Efrén and his family work very hard, but still struggle to make ends meet. His father works several jobs, and..."
Worse Than Weird
 
4.0
"Mac lives with her parents, Hank and Coral, in a small house in Portland. Small, as in she sleeps in..."
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
 
4.0
"Darleen comes from a long line of entertainers; her father and his siblings are all part of Matchless Studios, a..."
In the Red
 
4.0
"Michael Prasad and his family live on a colony on Mars, under a dome that controls the environment. His father,..."
Pippin No Lickin'
 
5.0
"As a family with 2 busy boys, 14 and 12, we appreciate Layne’s contribution to helping children understand the importance..."
Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
 
5.0
"'Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party' by Kimberly & James Dean is a cute story about friendship and..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."