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Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go    by Dale E. Basyer & Bob Dob Amazon.com order for
Heck
by Dale E. Basyer
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Heck is where the bad kids go. And thirteen-year-old Marlo Fauster is bad. Her bother Milton follows her lead, not knowing what else to do.

Marlo plans to pull the biggest heist Grizzly Bear Mall has ever seen. She might have been successful, had it not been for a bully named Damian, who decides to blow up the mall's giant marshmallow Grizzly Bear at just the wrong moment. Marlo and Milton are buried under the sticky goop - this turns out to be their last day on earth.

They are sent to Heck, an otherworldly reform school, where they'll stay for eternity or at least until they reach eighteen. Milton, who has always tried to be good, can't believe he's been sent to Heck for his sister's sins. The Principal of Darkness thinks otherwise. She doesn't believe in mistakes.

Some of the funniest references - such as being taught ethics by Richard Nixon or home economics by Lizzie Borden - probably won't be picked up by younger readers. But they'll enjoy the brother/sister bond which is real whether they're together against all of Heck or fighting each other. Will the two protagonists get along long enough to find a way to escape?

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