How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell is a ghastly gastronomical treat that will dazzle young reader particularly boys and tomboys. But this little novel has been happily repulsing kids in the best possible way since its original publication in 1973.
It seems poor Billy must eat 15 worms in 15 days–but the reward will be worth it: $50 for a shiny new minibike. Luckily, Billy’s friends cook up these fat juicy grubs in a variety of appetizing ways–drenched in ketchup and mustard, fried in butter and cornmeal, and the pièce de résistance, a Whizband Worm Delight (an ice-cream worm cake). It’s choke full of memorable lines and refrains like:
“Trout, Salmon, flounder, perch,
I’ll ride my minibike into church.
Dace, tuna, haddock, trout,
Wait’ll you hear the minister shout.”
My Yearling edition comes complete with recipes for such things as Worm Pizza and Crunchy Carrot Worm Salad. How to Eat Fried Worms is a gem that still holds up after almost 40 years.