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5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; Young Adult Novel Paperback


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5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; Young Adult Novel + 4 : Fantastic Novels + The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374423296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374423292
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There are many words that could be used to describe Daniel Pinkwater's books. Wacky comes to mind. Outrageous. Lively. Real. Unreal. Comic genius Jules Feiffer, in his foreword to 5 Novels, says, "Pinkwater's thoughts don't connect like yours or mine. His 'tab A' does not fit into 'slot A' the way it's supposed to in a well-thought-out thought. More likely, his 'tab A' will fit into 'slot 14' or 'slot X79,' the kind of fit that might drive you or me crazy if we tried it, but when Pinkwater does it, you read it and say to yourself, 'Why, of course, this is how it should be.'"

Performing chickens, a New Jersey Martian, an orangutan orchestra conductor from Ceylon ... the details are what jump out of his novels. The ice cream dish in Slaves of Spiegel, for example, consisting of an eggplant, two slabs of whole-wheat pizza dough, 16 flavors of ice cream, fresh figs, pistachio nuts, a lobster, and assorted fresh garden vegetables and fruit. (It's served piping hot from the microwave, in a freshly laundered regulation army knapsack, to the accompaniment of Franz Liszt music.) This is what Pinkwater is all about. A junior-high schooler's dream of an author.

In 5 Novels, you can feast upon five beloved and quirky favorites: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, Slaves of Spiegel, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, The Last Guru, and Young Adult Novel. And if you still need more Pinkwater novels (and you definitely do), explore 4 Fantastic Novels. (Ages 9 and much, much older.) --Emilie Coulter

Review

"Here, in an appropriately fat trade paperback...is a collection of the Master's greatest works: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; and Young Adult Novel. . .Daniel Pinkwater is so obviously the funniest writer of children's books that he should be made a Living National Treasure." --The Washington Post Book World

More About the Author

Daniel Pinkwater lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York's Hudson River Valley.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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And I do mean it, I still think it's the best book ever.
greasergrrl
You would do well to buy several copies of this book and administer it as gifts to those around you.
Christopher Bunn
His stories are relavent to young and old alike, and I highly recommend you pick up this book!
Stihl1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
There is a whole subculture of young people such as myself who met D. Manus Pinkwater at a tender young age and are hopelessly corrupt because of it. I mean that in a good way, I think. Here's a seven-year-old kid in the late 70's reading the Hardy Boys and suchlike, then he reads this thing about lizards and chickens and force-fields and, most importantly, a kid whose parents go on vacation and leave him alone and he's able to Stay Up As Late As He Wants! Or aliens who look like fat guys and come to the earth to eat junk food. Or any other order and permutation of wackiness. Pinkwater is a genius. I suspect that he himself is an alien, sent to perform the opposite task as the pod-implanting creatures. He has been sent to wake us up from our pod-like existences. I love Pinkwater. My friend Max introduced me to him in second grade, and twenty years later I remain Blatzed.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By jamie stack on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
When i picked this book up I was about nine I started reading it. it is really somthing you have to read, alen mendelsohn the Boy from mars is my favorite story you can't explain how good it is you have to read it. if you liked harry potter you will love it if you didn't you'll still love it.daniel pinkwater is a genius when it comes to writing .i just don't know how he does it but he really is good at it and he's got to keep up the good work if he is going to keep us going it should be a sin not to read this EXCELLENT book. i wish i could explain how good it is but you'll have to read it to find out don't hesitate just do it it is the longest book i ever read it is the best book i ever read as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By greasergrrl on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Alan Mendelson is the best book ever. It is a triumph for those of us who didn't fit in when we were young. Truly mind-blowing in its creativity (it's about two eight grade boys, mind control, and motorcycle riding aliens), funny and inspiring. And I do mean it, I still think it's the best book ever.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Webb (lsw@monad.net) on November 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
I loved Pinkwater when I was eleven and I love him at least as much now. He treats his readers with respect, rather than talking down to them, and he is one of the funniest writers I've ever read, for any audience. His characters are some of the best in fiction, and his ideas are far-fetched enough to make anyone wonder a little about the fine line between brilliance and insanity. Having five novels in one volume was almost more excitement than I could handle. A warning to kids: you may want to keep two copies of this one around, because you'll never pry this book out of the hands of the adults around you. A warning to adults: once children are introduced to Pinkwater, there are reading flashlights to be confiscated in the middle of the night. One last note: Pinkwater has written for all ages, from some wonderful picture books to at least one book of essays for us grown-up folk who have loved him on NPR. Try them all.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Since I first read The Big Orange Splot I have been a Pinkwater fan. Although a lot of his best stuff is out of print, and Chinwag Theatre is not widely available on public radio, Pinkwater hunting is worth the effort. This collection helps remind us all that "normal" actually ends up being very strange, and the stranger, the more interesting. This is a great book to get into the hands of boys who need affirmation that they are just fine the way they are.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read Mr. Pinkwater's wonderful comedy when an excerpt of Hoboken Fish and Chicago Whistle appeared in Funny Times magazine. I laughed through the whole thing, and then showed it to everyone I know. Those who didn't laugh I dropped like hot potatoes!
Protagonists are most often intelligent junior high-ish boys who don't quite fit in at school and have rather odd relatives (though sympathetic females and adults also make appearances). And while these books may be just the magic to get your pre-adolescent son reading, don't make the mistake of thinking these books are limited to that demographic. The author is creative, inventive, outrageous, charming and sweet, and anyone who appreciates outrageous invention and smart-alecky humor will love the work of this very talented author.
I can't wait to read more books by Mr. Pinkwater, and am very happy to see his books are being reissued.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
I liked 5 novels because I thought it was very funny. Some of the stories were science-fiction. I especially liked Slaves of Spiegel. It is about fat people who live on a planet far from here who are feared by the world. I also liked Alen Mendelsohn the boy from Mars. These are the only good stories in the book for kids, the rest were not too good, maybe the third one but that was hard to follow.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Kosh Jr. on December 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Now in my late 20s, I can look back at my early teens with some nostalgia. I have blocked most of the "horrible" memories and smile when I think of my favorite author at the time, Daniel M. Pinkwater. When you are too old for Judy Blume and too young for Kafka, Pinkwater's novels make a connection with young awkward teens! Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, was my favorite of all his novels. A MUST read!
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