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Bel Air Bambi and the Mall Rats Hardcover – September 1, 1993

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038530823X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385308236
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,028,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neither Southern California brats nor ornery hicks escape the malice of this rather mean-hearted slapstick novel. When Buffie Babcock's TV producer father goes broke, he and his family say "good-bye to all we knew and the total California experience" and hightail it to Hickory Fork, where Mr. Babcock grew up. Smack-dab in an unenlightened (and unnamed) part of Middle America, this formerly bucolic hamlet is now in the thrall of a thuggish group of high school students. Outraged, Buffie's older sister Bambi--a quintessential Valley Girl with eternally perfect hair--takes charge. In a convoluted plot (involving a ghost story, a fixed football game and a brand-new TV pilot directed by Buffie's father) justice is restored, the local economy receives a much-needed boost and Mr. Babcock makes enough money to buy a Range Rover and return his kids to their rightful home. Even at its most snide ("After Pinetree Trace, which they hated the most, the football team would be playing Toad Suck, Oil Trough, Possum Trot, Natural Steps, Viny Grove, and Booger Holler"), the narrative manages to be snappy, moving at a rackety gallop. But it's slick and compassionless, comparing poorly with such Peck titles as Unfinished Portrait of Jessica . Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A merry spoof of everything from L.A. and TV pilots to beauty salons: Buffie explains how she and the rest of the Babcock family find themselves run out of Hollywood and on their way to the place that has inspired their father's increasingly alarming bouts of nostalgia--his hometown, where his fond memories and the bombed-out look of Hickory Fork don't mesh. Citizens are fearful of a teenage gang (``the Mall Rats'') that's trashed the local shopping center, runs the school, and regularly shakes down other students. Buffie's older sister Bambi, not impressed, seeks to strip the M.R.'s of their status. The Babcocks put on a show worthy of Andy Hardy, get Hickory Fork back on the straight and narrow, then return to the top of the TV heap. Meeting characters with names like Tanya Hyde and Bob Wire, readers won't mistake Peck's pack for one where realism reigns. A honey of a funny ride through small-town America gone horribly awry, in a place where family values means Grandma totes a shotgun in the name of a good night's sleep. The sendup of Tinseltown is just as comic; the whole story's a tonic. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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More About the Author

Richard Peck has written over twenty novels, and in the process has become one of America's most highly respected writers for young adults. A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle graders as well as young adults for his mysteries and coming-of-age novels. He now lives in New York City. In addition to writing, he spends a great deal of time traveling around the country attending speaking engagements at conferences, schools and libraries...Mr. Peck has won a number of major awards for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award from School Library Journal, the National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Award, and the 1991 Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi. Virtually every publication and association in the field of children s literature has recommended his books, including Mystery Writers of America which twice gave him their Edgar Allan Poe Award. Dial Books for Young Readers is honored to welcome Richard Peck to its list with Lost in Cyberspace and its sequel The Great Interactive Dream Machine...

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on May 30, 2006
Format: Turtleback
Bel-Air is truly the place for swimming pools and movie stars. And rich Hollywood producers, which is exactly what Bambi Babcock's daddy does. Bambi is beautiful, rich, and spoiled. She is the perfect Bel-air stereotype. That is until Daddy gets in a little trouble.

When the Babcock family goes bankrupt Dad decides to move his wife, Brandi and her two younger siblings Brick and Buffie to Hickory Fork, the town where he grew up. Unfortunately Hickory Fork is about as far away from Bel-Air as you can get. There is no nail salon, no fancy French restaurants, and worst of all no mall...that they know of. In their school the teachers know very little about their subjects and the students know even less. Plus the whole town is under the `control' of the Mall Rats, the town gang.

Hickory Fork once had a mall. But it was run out by the mall rats gang. Now it sits dark and abandoned. Until night comes, then the mall rats go to the run down mall. They plot their evil, sleep, eat, and hold `meetings' in the old mall.

The family boards up with their grandmother who still lives there. But the real trouble starts when Brandi decides to spy on the Mall Rats. They sit horrified as they listen to the mall rats plan to kidnap the tight end of the opposing football team before the big game. What can they do! The gang runs the whole town, do they try and stop them? They can't just sit by and let someone get hurt....or worse.

Using the amazing theatrical talents given to their family, the whole town teams up to stop the mall rats once and for all. Using a plan almost too ridiculous to work.

This hilarious story is written from the perspective of Brandi's little sister Buffie. She is almost the odd one out. Kind of like Jan Brady syndrome. Richard Peck does an amazing job of bringing these characters to life. You are quickly drawn right into this entertaining book. I highly recommend it for anyone eleven and up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is wonderful--I absolutly loved it!!! It is hilarious, fun, and in some parts very suspensful!!! I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A quirky, funny, uplifting book -- Which I did *NOT* expect; I only picked it up because I'd liked other books by the author. _Highly_ recommended!
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