Booktalk: Heck by Dale E. Basye

Product Details

Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go

by Dale E. Basye and Bob Dob

Milton Fauster was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Seriously.  The fact that his sister, Marlo, drug him into her life of petty crime and right smack into the worst marshmallow bear explosion of all time is certainly not his fault.  And now they are both trapped in Heck, an other wordly reform school for kids who aren’t good enough to go to Heaven.  Gah!  Siblings are so frustrating!  Desperate to escape, Milton uses a map of the nine circle of Heck to make his way home.  If only escape didn’t mean traveling through the sewers….. Outrageous humor and tons of puns make this read so fun, it’s sinful!

Tips: 

  • The teens really responded to the naughtiness of the title.  Don’t be afraid to use that.
  • Several classes asked how an exploding marshmallow could kill someone.  I just answered, “have you ever touched hot marshmallow???  man, it hurts!”  That usually earned a giggle or two.
  • Kids sometimes respond to the idea of humor and puns, so for classes who expressed interest, I mentioned that Lizzy Borden teaches home economics and the princpal’s name is B. Elsa Bubb.  FYI, most classes had no idea who Lizzy Borden was and only a few got the B. Elsa Bubb joke.  But the teacher’s appreciated it and once explained, the teens thought they were fairly clever.
  • Stressing that Milton really is a good guy caught in a bad situation works well, and the fact that Marlo isn’t perfect makes the teens interested too.
  • There are already several books in the series and will nine circles of Heck, I’m eager to see all explored.
  • If you are concerned, all of the “violence” is purely comic and this certainly shouldn’t make any student begin to worry about dying.  It is completely light hearted and silly and there is no religious aspect either.
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