From the Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale comes a hilarious story about a kid who likes to break the rules . . . until the rules try to break him.
Cooper just wants to spend the summer before 7th grade drawing and having adventures with his best friend, Nacho. Anything to keep his mind off the fact that his dad's new girlfriend and his mom's announcement that she's going to start dating.
But when one of his adventures with Nacho goes too far, Cooper's parents freak out. Either he joins the Boy Rangers, a dorky club that's all about discipline and rules, or that dream cartooning camp at the end of his summer? Will get erased.
At first it's not so bad--the troop is a disorganized mess. But then a new scoutmaster starts. Mr. Pierce is a gruff ex-Marine who's never worked with kids before, especially not a ragtag team of misfits like Troop 19. As he tries turning them into a lean, mean, badge-earning machine, Cooper longs for freedom. He doesn't want to break the rules, but the rules are going to break him!
The Bad News Bears meet the Boy Scouts in Hale's (Switched) snarky, family-centric adventure novel. Aspiring cartoonist and animator Cooper "Coop" McCall is still coming to terms with his parents' divorce two years back, but he's looking forward to a Summer of Awesomeness with best friend Ignacio "Nacho" Perez, especially a weeklong cartooning camp. Everything is thrown into disarray, however, after a characteristic but egregious misstep at a theme park lands the rising seventh graders in hot water and, to enforce "responsibility and impulse control," a stint in the Boy Rangers. Led by retired Marine Rockwell Pierce, the two friends and their equally reluctant troopmates work to earn merit badges and qualify for the annual Wilderness Jamboree, in which troops compete for esteem and stature. But they must endure the scoutmaster's drill-sergeant discipline, penchant for creative insults ("rancid fridge biscuits"), and utter negligence, all played for laughs. Though some motivations strain the plot's believability, and occasional commentary about women strikes on odd note, brisk pacing and surly narration (according to Coop, the Rangers are "for dorks and rejects") make for a tidy paean to adolescent responsibility. Occasional b&w illustrations take a caricature style. Biracial Coop is of Japanese descent; Nacho is cued as Latinx; Rockwell is portrayed with "walnut-brown skin." Ages 8-12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.