Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Shen & Hicks

Nothing2Lynn:  Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (First Second 2013) by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks features Charlie Nolan, the “benevolent jock that everybody likes.”  Poor Charlie is caught between the cheerleading team led by his ex-girlfriend Holly and his best friend, Nate Harding, president of the Robotics Club.  There is one pot of money and both groups want it:  the cheerleaders for new uniforms and the Robotics team for travel to the national robotics competition.  Holly, whose glare can shrivel the mightiest of souls, throws Charlie into the election for Student Council president.  Nate immediately throws his hat in the ring and the battle lines are drawn!  Both sides wage a dirty tricks campaign that would be the envy of Machiavelli and the principal has to step in.  “Mr. Harding, take down the posters,” she says, “This is school politics not national politics.”  But the campaign tricks get completely out of hand and Principal Getty withdraws the funding forcing both sides to team up, concocting a wild scheme to win money in the Robot Rumble – a competition that puts Demolition Derbies to shame!

I loved this clever story that takes on high school culture, politics, and friendships.  It is observant and laugh-out loud funny while also being really touching as Charlie struggles to deal with his parents’ divorce.  The black and white illustrations are just as smart, sharply drawn and filling the panels.  The Robot Rumble provides plenty of Fwangs, Screes and Krunches and a little touch of romance adds sweetly to the satisfying finish.  This one is a winner!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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