HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Vin and the Dorky Duet
Authors: Maggie Lyons
Cover Illustrator: Suzannah Safi
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1612440910 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1-77127-073-1 (eBook)
Related website: www.museituppublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 10-14
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Lyons, Maggie. Vin and the Dorky Duet (published in 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing, 14878 James, Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada H9H 1P5). If your sister wanted you to set her up on a date with the brother of one of your classmates whom you really didn’t like, would you do it? Bevyn (Vin) is a seventh-grade boy who plays the trumpet and lives with his Dad, Mom, and older sister Meg who plays the piano. Meg asks Vin to perform with her at the Halloween concert in what he considers a “dorky duet” which she has composed for trumpet and piano. However, her real plan is to let Vin off the hook if he will get dreamy Brad Stewart, who also plays trumpet and is the brother of Vin’s nerdy classmate Binkley (Eyeballs) Stewart, to perfirn the duet with her because she has a crush on Brad. Vin at first refuses, but he finally succumbs when Meg offers him a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey.
Vin has five days to accomplish the job—operation BS (Brad Stewart)–or the deal is off and he has to play the duet. He gets lucky when he and Eyeballs are assigned do work on a science project about whales together. His hope is to go to the Stewart house to study with Eyeballs and talk to Brad about Meg’s proposal. However, a number of situations arise which interfere with Vin’s achieving his goal. He is waylaid by an exploding fish tank. He is attacked by a neighbor’s compost heap. He is almost drowned in an ever-expanding bubble bath. And he is captured by a giant plastic duck. Will Vin succeed in his goal? Will he ever find an opportunity to talk with Brad? And even if he does, what will Brad say about playing the duet?
Vin and the Dorky Duet, which is identified as a “middle grade adventure novella,” is a madcap romp through one week in the life of a hapless but always ingenious seventh-grader. Some parents might wish to know that there are a few childish slang terms. Vin sees “a stone statue of a boy taking a whiz—water actually came out.” He also explains why his friend “Cheeky had to pee in a lilac bush in his yard.” And he describes a scene in which things “smelled of mouse turds.” And Vin ends up telling some rather tall stories along the way in the process of trying to help his sister. However, there is nothing overtly objectionable. Tweens who appreciate a wacky, zany type of humor will enjoy this rollicking story.