Roscoe Riley Rules #7:  Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin
Katherine Applegate
HarperCollins (2009)
ISBN 9780061783708
Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 7) for Reader Views (9/09)


In the beginning of “Roscoe Riley Rules #7: Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin” by Katherine Applegate, Roscoe Riley is in time-out explaining how he got there.  When he was at school he found out about a contest to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin. The prize was books for the winner’s school library – enough to fill the giant pumpkin – and also candy for the winner – enough to fill the giant pumpkin.  Roscoe put in a guess of 964 pounds.  At the town’s fall festival, the winner was announced.  It was Roscoe!

When went up on the stage to get his prize, a black cat that he believed was bad luck pulled on his shoe lace and made him fall backwards and hit the cart that was holding the pumpkin.  The pumpkin rolled off the cart.  Most of the people got out of the way but some kids chased after the pumpkin.  Roscoe Riley chased right behind it but then got in front of it.  When he was nearly at the bottom of the hill and about to get squashed between the 964-pound pumpkin and the statue of Thomas Toadswaddle holding a porcupine, Roscoe did what any other kid would do and jumped out of the way.  The pumpkin smashed into the statue, and pumpkin guts went everywhere.  But, believe it or not, that’s not why he landed in time-out.  You’ll have to read the story to find out why that happened.

There are some black and white drawings in the book that are pretty good.

I would recommend “Roscoe Riley Rules #7: Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin” by Katherine Applegate to people who like funny books and pumpkins.  There are even some things to learn in the book, for example, pumpkins are a fruit not a vegetable and superstitions aren’t real.

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