"Young Adult Novel" is a short story by Daniel Pinkwater. It covers a moment in the lives of the Wild Dada Ducks, a group of High Schoolers dedicated to Dadaism.

The Wild Dada Ducks

  • The Honorable Venustiano Carranza (President of Mexico), formerly known as Pecos Bill - The founder of the Wild Dada Ducks. He is tall and thin. Wears a baby carriage wheel on a chain over his necktie.
  • Charles the Cat - The narrator of the story. He is not tall, and thin. Wears a black necktie with a red plastic fish glued to it.
  • The Indiana Zephyr - He is tall and thin.
  • Captain Colossal - He is tall and not thin.
  • Igor - He is not tall and not thin. Wears a banana on a string around his neck. It's name is Freddie, and he talks to it as well as using it as a mock microphone and pistol.
There is also the Duckettes, the ladies' auxiliary, which is currently unoccupied. The Wild Dada Ducks are the authors of a serial young adult novel entitled Kevin Shapiro, Boy Orphan. It chronicles the life and... deaths of Kevin Shapiro, who gets put in a variety of unfortunate situations. It can pretty much be summed up as follows:
Kevin Shapiro, Boy Orphan is different from the novels in the Himmler High School library in that he never solves his problems. Instead, we usually kill him from time to time. Kevin is indestructible. You can kill him as often as you like. He can be brought back to life in the next chapter, which usually gets told the following day during lunch.
The short story "Young Adult Novel" is only 14 chapters long, and chronicles what happens when they find a Kevin Shapiro at school, and decide to adopt the boy orphan. Highly recommended reading for dadaists, or anyone who enjoys the bizarre.

A novel by Daniel Pinkwater, although at ~100 pages I suspect that the correct term would be a novelette. John#2 has done a pretty good job reviewing it, but I think that a few extra notes are in order.

First off, I should mention the first chapter -- don't get scared off. Young Adult Novel starts with a chapter from Kevin Shapiro, Boy Orphan, which is a dark and depressing story. We revisit the unfortunate Kevin from time to time, but Young Adult Novel is not a dark book. It is, in fact, a fun story about four slightly obnoxious and rowdy kids, who happen to think that killing off Kevin is fun. However, it may not be entirely appropriate for younger readers. As a litmus test, consider the brief mention of Kevin's sister running off to become a prostitute; if explaining what a 'prostitute' is does not worry you, your youngster is ready for this book.

This is closely related to the second point: this book is not like other Pinkwater books. It is somewhat silly, but only because the subject of teenagers tormenting their peers and teachers with Dadaism is inherently funny. There are no fat men from outer space or giant chickens here. This is much more a Gordon Korman type of story (one of his earlier books, like A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag). I suspect that any Pinkwater fan will enjoy this book, but it may not be what you were expecting.

As with so many Pinkwater books, it is no longer available except in used bookstores and in the collection 5 Novels.

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