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How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy Hardcover – February 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Sunshine State Young Readers 2012-2013 Grades 6-8
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First Edition edition (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061992720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061992728
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,011,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Among the many complications in 13-year-old Lamar Washington's life are his reputation as a prankster, which is inhibiting his quest to get a girlfriend; a basketball star older brother, Xavier, who treats him with contempt; his suspicion that his best friend is being taken advantage of by his girlfriend; and the asthma that makes bowling the most strenuous sport in which he is allowed to engage. While the death of his mother is an ongoing heartache, Lamar receives support from his strict but loving father and his close-knit African-American community. He has truly come to love bowling, and the action revolves (loosely) around his desire to be the recipient of a special ball to be given away by his idol, professional bowler Bubba Sanders. Along the way, Lamar gains, loses, and regains the girl; succumbs to the temptations of easy money by using his bowling skills to hustle some marks at the behest of lowlife Billy Jenks; is physically assaulted by Xavier; pulls an alarm to disrupt his brother's basketball game; and is finally reconciled with X after secretly paying for his algebra tutoring. There is much too much going on, and everything is resolved way too easily, but readers are likely to be pulled along by Lamar's engaging (and frequently hilarious) narration.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Under all the braggadocio is a boy with a big heart, and from the first sentence Lamar will have readers hooked. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“This stands out for its unusual setting and smooth integration of friendship and family concerns. ” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The powerful mix of sibling rivalry, revenge, and hard-won redemption strengthens the perennial appeal of the naïve-underdog-makes-good plot; readers will come for the laughs and stay for the laughs.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Crystal Allen has the rare ability to make you laugh out loud one minute and swell with tears the next. The tween book world has a new hero—Lamar Washington —as well as a brilliant new author who’s bound to win a Bubba-sized trophy herself!” (Neal Shusterman, author of THE SCHWA WAS HERE and BRUISER)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
We based several social skills lesson off this book.
K Hinkle
I was laughing out loud in chapter one, and was completely hooked on Lamar.
Kylie
Would highly recommend it for 12 - 14, but is a great read for any age.
Babycj

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Gephart on April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't express how much I LOVE How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy. The voice is unique and fun and touching all at once.

It reminded me of Christopher Paul Curtis' book, Bucking the Sarge, which I loved.

I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with Lamar and feel deeply for his struggles. He's a great kid, who tries to do the right thing, but, well, you know.

This book is so full of funny. The scene with the peanuts had me laughing so hard I cried. And a few other scenes had me crying.

I also love how the book is about Lamar's love for bowling (so original), but it's about so much more.

Crystal Allen had me at . . . "Since Saturday, I've fried Sergio like catfish, mashed him like potatoes, and creamed his corn in ten straight games of bowling."

And this description of a man's head: "Dr. Avery resembles a black Albert Einstein, except his nappy gray afro reminds me of a sheep's butt. And his fro has a hole in the middle where he's going bald. If he had a flag on top of his head, you could practice golf putts."

When Crystal Allen's next book comes out, I'll be first in line to buy a copy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Latzer on July 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My son (10) could not put this book down, finished it in 2 days and we went searching for another, hope she writes more!! My boys tend to be lazy readers, so always happy when they find a book they enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kylie on March 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy! I was laughing out loud in chapter one, and was completely hooked on Lamar. Snappy dialogue, realistic situations, tough moral choices--everything a middle-grade novel should be. I was rooting for Lamar through laughter and tears, and you will too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheri Williams on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lamar's got game--the biggest, baddest, bestest bowling game ever. He's about to get some green and the girl, too. Unless his new friend and latest prank land him in the gutter, that is. High-speed, hilarious and full of heart, HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY, is my favorite kind of read.

Snort-out-loud funny, it's perfect for boys, girls, grown-ups with funny bones and pretty much anyone with a pulse. Since it got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly *and* was chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection for Spring 2011, I'm clearly not alone in my love for Lamar!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on April 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington spends every free moment he can at Striker's Bowling Paradise. He's the best --- or at least he believes he is. That would include wiping the floor with his best friend, Sergio, and bowling strike after strike to impress all the ladies. Lamar loves bowling because it's the one sport in which his asthma won't act up, and his hero, Bubba Sanders, just happens to be the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler ever. When Lamar is at Striker's, worries and everyday distractions seem to float away and disappear. These worries would include everything that's happening back on the homefront.

Lamar's older brother, Xavier, is known to Coffin, Indiana, as "Xavier the basketball savior." Xavier has put Coffin, Indiana, on the map thanks to his amazing basketball skills, and all Lamar can do is sit back and watch as his brother relishes his time in the spotlight. Normally he is too focused on bowling to really care about Xavier's pompous attitude, but lately Xavier has been bugging him more and more about how he'll amount to nothing and that bowling has no future. To add to Lamar's aggravation, his dad also seems focused solely on Xavier and appears to brush him aside more often than not. Lamar isn't sure how to get his father's attention, but he's sick of coming in second to his older brother.

Thankfully, Lamar has three big distractions to take his mind off of things. First, he learns that Bubba Sanders is going to be stopping in Coffin for a special visit. Four lucky kids will get the chance to win a new bowling ball specially designed by Bubba if they win an essay contest. Second, after striking out with the ladies before, he finally gets the guts to ask a girl out.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine M. Felt on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an arc for this delightfully hilarious and fun middle grade novel. I love the way debut author Crystal Allen developed Lamar Washington. His family is believable and you can keenly feel the way Lamar wants to do what he loves, but also struggles due to his asthma by not fitting in by being a part of 'cool' sports -- like his brother, Xavier the Basketball Savior. As Lamar tries to make his own dreams come true, he winds up working like a hustler and pulls a prank that turns all the people he cares about against him. The characters all came alive and I loved Lamar, his best friend Sergio, and the girl Lamar's crazy for, Makeda. Allen doesn't make it easy for Lamar to work out the problems he gets himself into, and by the end you'll agree that Lamar's Bad Prank is a winner of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bubbe barbara on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Instinct told me to pre-order this book. Crystal Allen has written a winner. If you loved Alexie's "Absolutely True Diary..." you will love Lamar and his growing pains. Much better than the wimpy kid books. I laughed so hard I couldn't sleep until I'd read it all. Lent it to a friend who had to fly cross-country to a funeral and she's going to buy her own. Excellent read for Middle Schoolers. A must read for everyone. I'll never think of peanuts OR bowling the same! The first two reviewers summed it up perfectly, I just have to 1) beg Ms. Allen to write more and 2) spread the word that this book is a WINNER.
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More About the Author

Crystal Allen is the author of HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY. THE LAURA LINE is her second novel. She currently lives in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua. You can visit her website at crystalallenbooks.com.

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