In Dan Allen’s humorous coming-of-age tale, social expectations are balanced against the need for personal freedom.
Peter Barnes is fed up. From the day he was born, his and Jaylee Yates’s lives have been linked together for no other reason than that they were born on the same day, and together their initials spell out PB & J. With little else to distinguish itself, Peter and Jaylee’s hometown of Surly, Idaho, latched on to this coincidence and named PB & J their local celebrities, connecting the happiness of the two children to the success of the town. But at fourteen years old, Peter wants more for himself than the life which the people of Surly have staked out for him.
To start his new life, Peter breaks up with Jaylee and gets a job delivering pizza for a local parlor. Peter’s moves toward freedom pit PB & J against each other, setting into motion a chain of events that exposes the seedy underworld of Surly, whose tentacles reach all the way to the presidency of the PTA. Though working with a group of friends known as the Super Squad, Peter finds himself in over his head when he is confronted by an elusive villain who’s known only as Soccer Mom.
With a good sense of humor and a slight dose of satire, the story of Peter’s quest for freedom places small town life under the looking glass. What’s extraordinary in ordinary life is brought to the fore when the PTA, driving tests, food trucks, school dances, hogs, and potatoes become part of the novel’s organized crime intrigue. Bold, expressive illustrations highlight important scenes from the story.
Pizza Boy and the Super Squad is a fun, high stakes coming-of-age adventure.
Erika Harlitz Kern
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.