Mom Is Dating Weird Wayne

From School Library Journal


Gr 5-8 In this zany contemporary family novel, seventh grader Jenna's mother is divorced and struggling to raise two children without much help from her ex-husband, who has remarried. To supplement her income as a ``zit zapper,'' retouching school pictures, she accepts a temporary assignment on the local TV station crew for Halloween. On the job she meets Weird Wayne, the station weatherman, who lacks in looks but is long on personality. Romance blooms, causing Jenna much unhappiness. One of several outrageous plot events that stretches the imagination but prompts a few laughs occurs when Jenna's first-grade brother wins a Thanksgiving turkey and can't bear to see him hacked up for dinner, so the family rides home from the farm with the turkey strapped in the car seat. The climax is pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner. Lacking in turkey, Jenna's mom creates the main dish out of chicken glued together with hamburger. When a snowstorm hits, neighbors and Weird Wayne share the food, and Jenna realizes that Wayne may just care about her more than her absent dad does. There's no complex character study here, just a group of folks with some crazy, nevertheless believable, ideas. The emphasis is on plot, spiced with corny humor and ``turkey jokes.'' Kids will enjoy this lighthearted storythere's hardly a dull moment. Phyllis Graves, Creekwood Middle School, Kingwood, Tex.