The Fourth Stall, a book by Chris Rylander, reviewed by Simon Navarrete
I really liked this book because while there are a lot of books about kids with magical powers, or zombies, or aliens, or the future, there aren't a lot of books about two friends running a problem-solving business in an abandoned bathroom stall.
In The Fourth Stall, a sixth grader named Christian (but everyone calls him Mac) and his best friend Vince run a business out of an empty bathroom stall at their school. They can solve any problem you give them, get anything you need or want, and even give loans if you pay a small fee for their services.
Mac and Vince are super fans of the Cubs baseball team, and all the money they make with their operation (which does quite well), goes to their goal of buying tickets to a World Series game. But a big problem comes up in their office and hope of going to the game is lost. Instead they have to stop a kid who was previously thought to be a myth or a legend.
This mysterious genius wants to wipe their business off the map. The whole book's story is centered on how they stop him; how in the process they lose, gain, and regain the trust of their allies; and how they slowly but surely uncover what their enemy does and who works for him. They discover that there's more to the guy who wants to destroy their business than just being the baddie. We also see how even through hard times, Mac and Vince are able to stick together like real friends, overcoming doubts that get in the way.
The Fourth Stall was hard to put down (it even distracted me from practising things on my skateboard). I liked how you could even imagine this being real. Also, this book teaches you how the worst villains aren't like the ones in the movies with their tangled hair and tattered clothes. The most dangerous ones will look like a good person to be friends with. They'll be polite and neat, and will fool you into thinking they can be trusted. There isn't much I can say about what I didn't like. Probably just that I don't like the name Mac.
Simon Navarrete is a member of the teen reading club at the West Vancouver Memorial Libraray. He says this about himself: My name is Simon Navarrete and I'm 11 years old (almost 12!). This year I'll be entering seventh grade, at West Bay elementary school. I've been in the West Vancouver library Reading Club since 2008. My favourite genre is adventure books. My goal when I am an adult is to be a doctor. I love basketball and skateboarding even though I'm not that amazing at it (yet).
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