A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn about the science and methods of wastewater treatment (an unusual subject), and how to write a haiku. Issues surrounding urban development and its affect on small business and housing prices, are also explored.
Sometimes breaking the rules is worth the risk.
Positive Role Models
Each of the three friends in Poop Fountaiin! has exemplary qualities. Dave is very well-behaved and encourages his friends to follow the rules. Marilla is brave and adventurous. Lyle, the narrator, is a thoughtful son and friend.
Violence & Scariness
There's lots of gross-out stuff, and some precarious situations, but no real violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Both of the boys like Marilla, and Lyle gets a little hug from her, but that's as far as it goes.
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Not surprisingly given the book's title, there are numerous mentions of "poop" as well as "pee," "doo-doo," "BM," "fart," "crap," and other descriptive but never profane, words.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Both of Lyle's parents smoke cigarettes. Lyle's dad thinks that Larry, the manager of the Qwikpick, has a drinking problem.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Poop Fountain! is the first book in The Qwikpick Papers series by Tom Angleberger. Like his popular Origami Yoda series, this story revolves around the friendships of young teens, including family life, first crushes, and popular culture. Poop Fountain! is narrated by Lyle, who plans an adventure with his closest friends, Marilla and Dave, to sneak into the local waste-treatment facility to see the "poop fountain," which is part of the wastewater cleaning process. There's a lot of non-profane potty talk and gross-out moments. Readers learn that Lyle's parents smoke and their boss may have a drinking problem, but adults are not active participants in the plot, which focuses on the kids' adventure, their desire for independence, and the economic differences and changes that affect their families.
Is It Any Good?
POOP FOUNTAIN! will surely entertain middle-graders and tweens with hilarious potty language and the prospect of a visit to a poop fountain. Meanwhile, kids will also learn some fun (and funny) facts about waste treatment and the ways economic "progress" affects financially disadvantaged families.
It's also worth noting that this little group of friends is racially and religiously diverse. This new book from a very popular author is silly, engaging, and actually somewhat eye-opening.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.