“If War and Peace had a baby with The Breakfast Club and then left the baby to be raised by wolves, this book would be the result. I loved it.” –Jon Stewart.
I guess to be fair, it should be noted that Mr. Lieb is a producer on the Daily Show. Nevertheless, Jon Stewart is spot on.
“I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to be your Class President“ by Josh Lieb (12 – 15) is a deliciously wicked YA book that will appeal to the 12 and up crowd but also to those finicky, difficult-to-please middle school boys.
Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson’s got the IQ of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or so everyone in Omaha thinks. In reality, Oliver’s a mad evil genius on his way to world domination, and he’s used his great brain to make himself the third-richest person on earth! Then Oliver’s father—and arch-nemesis—makes a crack about the upcoming middle school election, and Oliver takes it as a personal challenge. He’ll run, and he’ll win! Turns out, though, that overthrowing foreign dictators is actually way easier than getting kids to like you. . . Can this evil genius win the class presidency and keep his true identity a secret, all in time to impress his dad? (product description)
How much of Oliver’s elaborate world as a 7th grade evil genius is in his mind and how much is actually happening remains a bit unclear. But then again, I suppose the simple fact that a grown woman is even pondering this question demonstrates just how fully realized Oliver’s world feels to the reader. Although Oliver’s incredible universe is bigger-than-life, the theme of a boy striving for his father’s love is subtle and touching.
Lately it seems that the list of anti-hero, evil geniuses is growing. I’m pretty sure Oliver is my favorite one yet. Loved this one.