Roll Up the Streets

Roll Up the Streets
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Release Date
September 01, 2010
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Jake Machet has moved to a lousy little town filled with creeps and an ever-present stink that no one else notices. Along with his new friend Sammie, Jake probes the smelly underbelly of his new home, following the trail of stench straight to J.P. Rumblegut, corndog and doll maker extraordinaire. They uncover a hideous conspiracy involving sticky streets, sewage, doped-up corndogs, Space-Planet Janet dolls, and a mysterious portrait of a beauty queen that won't stop frowning at him. Eventually Jake and Sammie discover the secret behind the brainwashing meat sticks...a plot to zombify the entire country!

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Funny Stuff From Kane Miller
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In John Bladeks ROLL UP THE STREETS, Jake Machetor as his sister calls him, Jakey moves with his family to a small town smack dab in the middle of the school year. This, of course, is not an easy transition for a sixth grader. But what makes this move even more difficult is that Jake believes his new hometown is being brainwashed by its most influential citizen, J.P. Rumblegut.

J.P. Rumblegut owns a huge factory that produces the odd combination of dolls for little girls and corndogs. The factory produces a smell that seems to hover over everything in town. It tips Jake off that something is certainly rotten in the small town.

But the strangest thing is, is that hes the only one who can smell it.

The author uses a funny line to illustrate exactly how brainwashed the citizens are, how much they hang onto Rumbleguts every word. Back home, you couldnt get that many people to pay attention even if you barfed up your brain.

Jake feels he may be the only one to challenge Rumblegut until he finds two allies in Samantha Warkofski, or Sammie and Ms. Frampton. They also smell the smell.

Sammie is especially not shy about showing her hatred of Rumblegut. In fact, there are times when she is shown yelling up and down the street what a crook he is.

What further complicates maters is that both of Jake's parents are employed by Mr. Rumblegut, so of course they wont be any help when it comes to helping Jake take this guy down.

As a teacher of struggling readers, I am definitely going to read this book out loud to them because it is one of the few I know of that use a 2nd person narrative. It also uses footnotes to tell the story and add a unique voice. The footnotes kind of reminded me of the technique that David Foster Wallace uses in INFINITE JEST. Just another intelligent way to converse with the reader.

I say this book is a cant miss. I have caught a few of my students reading ROLL UP THE STREETS, and have heard them laughing out loud as they read.
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