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The Worst Night Ever    by Dave Barry order for
Worst Night Ever
by Dave Barry
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Pulitzer Prize winner and humorist Dave Barry's young adult novels are beginning to attract more attention as readers come to know and appreciate his protagonist, Wyatt Palmer, introduced in The Worst Class Trip Ever. This second adventure keeps the fourteen year old hero closer to home as he tries to cope with two bullies, who are involved in more than just sports and making some of their classmates uncomfortable.

When the Bevin twins grab the pet ferret of one of Wyatt's friends, he decides to help his buddy get the animal back. Ultimately this will involve stopping by the twins' home for an unannounced visit and snatching the ferret from one of the boys' bedrooms.

An unintended consequence of the rescue attempt is that Wyatt and Matt (the ferret's owner) stumble upon some strange events unfolding at the Bevin mansion. It seems that in the walled estate's back yard,there are very odd cages and holding areas for some exotic and rather dangerous critters.

Why this collection - that includes a Komodo dragon, a mamba snake, deathstalker scorpions, poison dart frogs, a collection of African siafu ants and Brazilian wandering spiders - has been smuggled into the country remains to be seen. But, as Wyatt and his friend will eventually discover, the reason has to do with creating a very dangerous situation for some of the local residents of their town.

As they try to figure out and then stop the nefarious plans of the Bevin twins' father, Wyatt and a handful of his friends will have to use their wits to convince the authorities that a well respected businessman is not the upstanding pillar of the community everyone assumes he is.

Combining humor with plenty of action, Dave Barry has created a story that will appeal to even the most reluctant of readers in this second Wyatt Palmer adventure. Highly entertaining, The Worst Night Ever will not only appeal to young adults but older readers will find it a quick and fun diversion too.

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