Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Mini-Review of Jeremy Bender vs The Cupcake Cadets

Jeremy Bender vs The Cupcake Cadets
by Eric Luper

A "sweet" book about determination, misconceptions and a little vanilla frosting. 

Ages 8 and up (from the publisher)

A Maine Student book Award Selection

Jeremy Bender loves boats.  One day while trying to spruce up his dad's boat, he and his friend Slater accidentally ruin the engine. Too scared to tell his father, Jeremy decides to try to win $500 by joining The Cupcake Cadets and winning the $500 in the Windjammer Whirl.  There is only one problem.  The cadets are a girls-only organization.  So the boys decide to dress up pretending to be Jenna and Samantha, two new cadets that no one knows because they are home-schooled.

The boys assume that being a cadet will be easy. How hard could it be if girls can do it right?  They were so wrong. It is amusing to watch as the boys start to appreciate everything that girls can do after they spectacularly fail at most of the things they attempt. This includes ruining the camping trip and giving the troop food poisoning with their home baked pie. The boys begin to realize that even qualifying to enter the race may not be nearly as easy as they thought. 

Jeremy and Slater are able to keep their cadet scheme a secret from family and school mates for a long time.  Things become complicated as a fellow cadet discovers their secret and decides to blackmail them in return for not revealing their betrayal.  

There is also a sub plot about a bully at school that keeps tormenting the boys.  The bully happens to be the son of the Cupcake Cadet troop leader and is spending lot of time around Jenna and Samantha The two disguised cadets bribe him with cupcakes so he will leave their "friends" Jeremy and Slater alone.

Readers will enjoy how this story unfolds and its sweet ending (pun intended).  With its accessible text and constant humorous conflicts, Jeremy Bender will be most enjoyed by girls and boys in grades 3 through 5. 

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