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Death by Eggplant Paperback – January 5, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Bertie Hooks's mother is obsessed with her past lives and wants her son to be a dream analyst. His father is possessed by percentages and wants him to be an insurance actuary. Bertie just wants to cook. He dreams about attending the Culinary Institute of America and becoming a famous chef. First, however, he must pass the eighth grade and it's not looking good. His teacher has given him an extra-credit assignment: caring for a flour-sack baby for 10 days. His mother dubs it Cleopatra in honor of her past Egyptian identity. Worse, his mortal enemy, Nick Dekker, is determined to undermine the project. Bertie's infatuation with Indra, his rival's sometimes girlfriend, also complicates matters. His mother's over-the-top adoption of Cleo as her own daughter soon has Bertie talking to the flour sack himself, and finding that Cleo is the only one who actually listens to him. When Nick kidnaps "her," Bertie rouses his parents from their self-absorption and enlists their assistance in taking a hostage of his own–Nick's mother. This novel cooks along at a rolling boil. Although the secondary characters are a little under baked, Bertie's turmoil as he works through issues of self-esteem and identity are well done. O'Keefe keeps the comic tension simmering through slightly improbable yet entertaining plot twists and tosses in lots of great food info in the process. Serve this one up to readers looking for a laugh.–Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“The narrator of O’Keefe’s appealingly outlandish novel is an aspiring young chef who prepares extravagant meals for his workaholic actuary father and his eccentric mother. . . . A soupcon of silliness and hefty helpings of genuine humor will whet the appetites of young readers who crave light yet satisfying fare.”—Publishers Weekly

“This novel cooks along at a rolling boil. . . . Bertie’s turmoil as he works through issues of self-esteem and identity are well done. O’Keefe keeps the comic tension simmering through slightly improbable yet entertaining plot twists and tosses in lots of great food info in the process. Serve this one up to readers looking for a laugh.”—School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; First Edition edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312602413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312602413
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,586,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Coming this October is Susan Heyboer O'Keefe's adult debut novel, FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER, a tale of violence, passion, revenge, and redemption that continues the dark story of Mary Shelley's creature. Susan's first title was the bouncy, best-selling counting book ONE HUNGRY MONSTER. Sandwiched between these two very different books are twenty years of bunnies, eggplants, cemeteries, nuns, mysteries, comedies -- and more monsters.

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Susan grew up in a town so small that not even people in the next town over had heard of it. (Amazing but true.) She now lives in another small town, which a visitor from Manhattan once described as the "end of the world." Since you might be eaten by bears trying to find it, she recommends that you visit her at her bear-free website at www.susanheyboerokeefe.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I think Death by Eggplant was an awesome book!

Bertie Hooks Wants to be a world Famous Chef. He daydreams of Owning his own Cooking Show, writing a bestseller cook book and all that. But he first has to pass the 8th grade and unfurtunately for him his kooky Mom wants Him to be a dream anylist, his calculator Dad wants him to be an acountant and his teacher just wants him to fail! And poor Berties grades aren't looking so good either.So his teacher just gives him a small extra-credit project to be responsible for 10 days...that turns the whole book into an enormous race to the finish!!!

This Book is really amazing! It is really something to laugh about. If there will ever be a sequel, I will most certianly pechase it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on December 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen-year-old Bertie is in a bind. For the eighth-grade, wannabe-chef, is at risk of failing the school year, and having to repeat his last year of junior high. However, when his somewhat-psychotic teacher, Mrs. Menendez, comes up with a plan for him to learn some responsibility, as well as earn enough grade points to graduate with the rest of his class, Bertie jumps at the opportunity. Yet he never realized that his mission was to raise a flour-sack baby, whom his New Age Mother promptly names Cleopatra "Cleo," for 10 whole days. Now Bertie must keep Cleo safe from his mortal enemy, Nick Dekker, just long enough to pass the eighth grade. But some things are harder than they seem.

I am shocked to see that I had never heard of Susan Heyboer O'Keefe before I picked up DEATH BY EGGPLANT, for she has quite a knack for writing. Her hilarious, imaginative mind has weaved an enticing story that will please all middle readers, for Bertie is an enticing character, whose quirky personality will win the hearts of all. A must-read book for anyone looking for a quick read with tons of laughs!

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had purchased two copies last year for my granddaughters and this copy was for my grandson. I had read a review last year, which sparked my interest, and found it to be a charming little book.
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