Series: The Fourth Stall #1
Published by Walden Pond Press on February 8th 2011
Chris Rylander delivers a funny Ferris Bueler-style middle grade novel with The Fourth Stall.
Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.
Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.
Short & Sweet: Mac is the man at his school, a sixth grader who takes care of minor problems for payment in money or favors. His best friend Vince helps him run the business, but when Staples shows up for real, Mac's business and life is in danger. I have to admit, I love the fact that the main characters are Cubs fans. I live near Chicago so I felt an instant connection, especially at their acceptance of constant disappointment. They have a game fund just for when they get to the World Series, a feat that does not happen often. Beyond that I love the attitude of this novel and the characters really are something else. It is a bit over the top at times, but that's the fantastic drama and tone of the novel at play.
Final Verdict: I dove through this one in one night, unable to put it down. I can't wait to get my hands on Part II. And I hear there's a Part III as well. So good, check this one out!