A Bad Day for Voodoo

252p. Sourcebooks/Fire. June 2012. pap. $8.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-6680-5.
Gr 7 Up—"Life and my classroom share a common trait: no second chances," says Tyler Churchill's 10-grade history teacher, after he accuses the teen of cheating on a test. A few days later, Tyler receives a voodoo doll of the mean teacher from his friend Adam. Though initially Tyler insists that he doesn't believe in voodoo, when (at Adam's urging) he curiously pokes the doll's leg in class, Mr. Click's leg severs from his body and flies across the room, spurting blood. After the man dies from a broken neck (the doll's neck gets bent while Adam and Tyler are fighting), Tyler believes he's a murderer. Adam, a little deranged and afraid that Tyler will report him to the police for his part in the crime, orders a voodoo doll of Tyler and the twisted violence and real hilarity kick off. Adam, Tyler, and Tyler's girlfriend encounter challenge after challenge as they try to return the doll of Tyler to the shop. Their adventures include a ride with a crazy cab driver and an epic undertaking to retrieve the stolen doll from gangsters. A FAQ section playfully sets the stage for Tyler's first-person narration. Though the teen's frequent digressions somewhat distract from the action, fans of Strand's other novels of outrageous circumstance—Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) (Mundania Press, 2003) and Wolf Hunt (Amazon, 2011)-will not be disappointed. A delightfully ludicrous read.—Jamie-Lee Schombs, Library Journal

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