David is a champion eater. His mother can’t figure out where he puts it. When he accidentally charges his mother’s credit card $2,000 (!) for a half-eaten hot dog, he decides it’s time to enter actually eating contests for the money to pay her back. With the help of two friends, Cyn and HeyMan, he starts training for the big pizza eating contest at the Iowa State Fair. Of course, he has to intercept Mom’s Visa bill and hope he can win the contest in time. He may be good, but is he good enough?
Meanwhile, David’s dealing with the pressures of middle child syndrome. His older sister is an over-achieving college student. His younger brother is a non-verbal autistic ten-year-old. David is often enlisted to watch his brother, Mal. What David fails to realize is that he is the only one with a realistic view of Mal’s world and that helping Mal reveals David’s best talents. With David’s help, Mal learns new words, learns to eat new foods, and is more relaxed out in the world.
Boys, especially, will enjoy the body humor created by David’s efforts, but everyone will love the heartwarming and hilarious ending of this great story.
- Title: Slider
- Author: Pete Hautman
- Published: Candlewick Press, 2017
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
- Grade Level: 5 to 9
- Genre: Fiction, Coming of age, Competitive eating
- ISBN: 978-0-7636-9070-0