Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Turn For the Better? The Bad Seed by John Jory

I wasn't always bad. I had a good family. We were close.

But then the petals dropped.

It's kind of blurry.... I remember a bag... and then a giant with the bag of sunflower seeds... a baseball game...

I thought I was a goner!

A childhood trauma can turn a good seed into a bad seed. Almost being eaten is a life-changing event, and since this sunflower seed landed with a bunch of spit-out shells of his fellow seeds under the bleachers, he's had a chip on his shoulder (well, if he had a shoulder that's where it would be).

He breaks into line every time. He's always late for anything and everything. His jokes drag on endlessly with no punch lines. He never listens at school. He has no friends. He never washes his hands, and flies swarm behind him wherever he goes. He's definitely got a bad rep.

"I'm a Ba-a-a-d Seed!"

Bad Seed definitely has a bad self-image. But once a bad seed doesn't mean he's always doomed to be a bad seed. One day he wakes up and discovers that how he grows up is mainly up to him.

It's hard. But I'm trying.

Maybe I'm not such a Bad Seed after all.

It looks like everything coming up roses, er, sunflowers, for this formerly Bad Seed, in Jory John's humorous new hit, The Bad Seed (Harper, 2017), whose self-improvement program has him well on the way to fitting in with all the other little corn kernels, peanuts, and pistachios. Artist Pete Oswald gives Bad Seed just the right grouchy glower to carry off his unreformed persona, with waves of unwashed stink behind him to add to the giggles, meanwhile giving readers a hint of what it means to see yourself as others see you. “This is a story that opens up dialogue about our reactions to life experiences, the consequences of our choices, and the chance to make a change for the better,” says School Library Journal in its starred review.

Author Jory John has plenty more hilarious stories of bad guys gone good, including Quit Calling Me a Monster! I Will Chomp You! and All My Friends Are Dead. (Read reviews here.)

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