David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to seventh grade: 'Pottymouth' and 'Stoopid' are still stuck with the names – and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true.
So how do they go about changing everyone's minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs – it shows that the worst bullying doesn't have to be physical, and that things will get better.
Patterson and Grabenstein, the team behind the I Funny series, introduce two beleaguered but resilient seventh graders. Despite their stratospheric IQs, best friends David, who is white, and Michael, who is black, have been saddled with the nicknames Stoopid and Pottymouth following incidents involving a botched math problem and an invented vocabulary, respectively. As the boys struggle with their unfair reputations, the authors tackle bullies, unexpected friendships, and family troubles with comedy and poignancy. Michael's foster parents are slackers with actual potty mouths, David's grandfather dies unexpectedly, and David's mother works three jobs to make ends meet while his deadbeat "Ex-Dad" parlays the boys' school travails into a hit TV series. Both clever and sweet, the revenge the friends exact bonds them to other outsiders at their school and to the TV show's writers. Gilpin's cartoons build on the story's many jokes, interludes from classmates and family members flesh out the boys' world, and the friends' hard-fought victory feels very well earned. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: (for Patterson) Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly; (for Grabenstein) Eric Myers, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Illustrator's agency: Shannon Associates.