Slider – Pete Hautman

sliderFrom the publisher:

David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally put $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has whipped up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down. 

This quick read is chockfull of relatable characters including tight friendships and a caring family.  While David’s story appears to center around competitive eating and a glimpse of what that entails, it really brings out the caring relationship that David has with his autistic brother.  In many ways, he deals better with his brother than his parents.  David has a big heart, a responsible ethic combined with a great sense of humor that makes this read so very enjoyable.  Highly recommend.

eGalley review                                                       Publication date 9.12.17

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