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Maggie V Lyons

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Vin and the Dorky Duet
by Maggie V Lyons   

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Books by Maggie V Lyons
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Publisher:  MuseItUp Publishing Type: 

Copyright:  2011 ISBN-13:  9781612440910

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Maggie Lyons Children's Books

Magnetic compost heaps, man-eating bubble baths, and other disasters erupt when an inventive seventh-grader meets a challenge to win a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey if he can befriend an unsociable nerd and introduce his sister to the nerd's hunky brother.

The moment he walks through the door and sees the sharky grin on his sister's face, Vin suspects Meg's hatching a plot. He's right. Worse still, he's central to the outcome. Meg tells him that their music teachers, parents -- everyone -- expect him to play her duet for trumpet and piano at the student concert.

Vin is horrified.

Meg insists Vin's only escape is to persuade another trumpet player to take his place. She has the hunky Brad Stewart in mind and she challenges Vin to introduce her to Brad. Vin doesn't know Brad any better than Meg does, but Meg points out that Vin takes a couple of classes at school with Brad's nerdy brother. Eyeballs Stewart is the last person Vin wants to befriend until Meg's promise of a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey changes the seventh-grader's mind. He has five days to accomplish his mission -- Operation BS -- before the concert practice schedule kicks in.

His brilliant game plan is thwarted by exploding fish tanks, magnetic compost heaps, man-eating bubble baths, and other disasters and brings unexpected results.

Old CD -- that's what we called our teacher in honor of Charles Darwin -- asked each kid in the class which animal they'd chosen to write an essay about. I'd chosen the blue-footed booby bird. I figured no one would know if I didn't get all the facts straight because booby birds weren't exactly on the list of the most popular animals in the world. I knew if I chose elephants, for example, Old CD would have nailed me if I'd tried to take short cuts on elephant research.
Richard Scott -- we called him Diddly, as in Squat -- did that once when we had to write essays on unusual insects. He chose bees -- not exactly the cleverest idea; even I know something about bees. I could tell immediately Diddley's essay left out nearly everything important. In fact, he showed up with a jar of honey and seemed to think we'd believe him when he said he'd squeezed it out of the bees himself. The jar even had a barcode on it. Old CD made him write another essay, only this time he made Diddly write five hundred words on the American burying beetle, which smells of dead animals. I don't think Diddly ever recovered from that trauma.

Professional Reviews

Jeff Kinney Move Over
Jeff Kinney move over. Maggie Lyons is here with her hilarious kid's novel about a boy trying to get his older sister in with the hunk of her class - only problem is, it's through the hunk's very dorky little brother Eyeball! Make sure the floor is clean because I guarantee you will be rolling around on the floor laughing your head off. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you'll love this book,I promise!
- unicorngirl

A very good story - fun to read!
Vin did NOT want to play a duet with his sister Meg in the school concert (Vin plays the trumpet and Meg plays the piano). Meg said the only way Vin can get out of it is to get Brad Stewart to play the trumpet with her instead of Vin (see Meg has a major crush on Brad). The only way to get to Brad is for Vin to hang out with his nerdy brother, Binkley, A.K.A. "Eyeballs," but Vin isn't sure if he wants to do that. Meg gets Vin to agree by offering him an autographed David Beckham Jersey in addition to not having to play the duet. From then on, things go from bad to worse for Vin. Will things ever work out for this seventh-grader?

This story is written well. The characters are very believable and likeable. The language in the book is appropriate for all ages and I think it is written how kids really speak. I like that Vin plays the trumpet (because I do too ;) ) and the relationship he has with his sister. I also like that Vin finds out Binkley is pretty nice. I was not fond of the cover art and wished it was a bit better. There isn't a huge lesson taught in the book, but it is a fun story to read and I think a lot of kids would like it. :)
- This Kid Reviews Books

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Reader Reviews for "Vin and the Dorky Duet"

Reviewed by Wayne Walker 8/31/2012
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.

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