Reviews for Oggie Cooder

Booklist Reviews 2008 January #1
Quirky fourth-grader Oggie Cooder is considered the class weirdo, but he remains blissfully unaware of his fellow students' opinions as he engages in a host of eccentric activities, including charving (nibbling on slices of cheese until they form the outlines of the states). Donnica Perfecto is Oggie's chief nemesis, but she changes her tune when a talent show turns up for auditions, and charving becomes a possible ticket to Hollywood. A chipped tooth deters Donnica just moments before the audition, and Oggie takes the lead in the talent show, making him the coolest kid in town. Still, Oggie stays true to himself, turns down his chance to be on television, and teaches some lessons to his classmates along the way. Weeks, whose previous books include So. B. It., a 2004 Booklist Editors' Choice selection, delivers a funny and fast-paced story, with the likable Oggie at its center. Oggie's fascination with cheese nibbling doesn't seem all that implausible; he's from Wisconsin, after all. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Oddball fourth-grader Oggie Cooder is a talented "charver" who can bite cheese into myriad shapes. Oggie is thrilled when a TV show looking for quirky acts picks him, but excitement quickly turns to stress for the emerging star when Oggie's Hollywood-obsessed ten-year-old, self-appointed manager, Donnica Perfecto, tries to guide him. Funny gray-scale cartoons help bolster this entertaining, swift read. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 January #1
Quirky fourth-grader Oggie Cooder has a unique talent. When bored or nervous, he chews processed cheese slices into the shape of states; he calls it "charving." Accidentally, this cheese chewing gets him chosen for the TV show Hidden Talents. Suddenly, he is the most famous fourth-grader in Wauwatosa, Wis. Donnica Perfecto, an ambitious classmate, becomes his manager, kids all over are imitating his odd clothing and crocheted shoelaces and, best of all, the boys in his class invite him to play basketball and even help him improve his game. But fame has its downside. As Donnica and the TV people attempt to change him, Oggie resists, realizing that that Hollywood is Donnica's dream, not his. Many characters will be familiar to young readers: the tight group of overprivileged girls, the jocks and the slightly dorky boy oblivious to sarcasm and social cues. What is refreshing is that Oggie doesn't have to change his nature to change his social status. Gentle humor with a satisfying message for middle-grade readers. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 March

Gr 3-5-- While Oggie's teachers have described him as "quirky" and "one-of-a-kind," his peers are less than complimentary about his hand-crocheted shoelaces and wardrobe from his parents' secondhand store. It is easy to see that the fourth grader is destined to become famous for some offbeat skill. Oggie's talent happens to be "charving" cheese slices, which is a cross between chewing and carving. His ability to charve the outlines of different states could land him on an "American Idol"-like television program called "Hidden Talents," but before the audition, he captures the interest of Donnica Perfecto, who has great ambition but no claim to fame. She decides to steal her classmate's unusual talent; when that doesn't work, she takes over as his manager. Pushed to the limit, Oggie finally makes some decisions about what's important to him. The protagonist's endearing cluelessness and spoiled Donnica's over-the-top conceitedness are well described, making this a fun, high-interest read.--Kathleen Meulen, Blakely Elementary School, Bainbridge Island, WA

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