Perl, Erica S. The Capybara Conspiracy. pgs. 181. Penguin Random House, 2016. $16.99. Language: G, Mature Content: G, Violence: G
Olive Henry is an academic existing in a sports-obsessed middle school. The only thing her achievements of being in a play, winning writing contests, and being in academic school clubs get her and others like her banished to the dungeon, the basement area of the school. When she wins a writing contest that gets her a trip to Florida, she tries to get her achievement on the school announcements. Not only is she barely mentioned, but the principal call her Henry. Determined to get noticed, she enlist the help of Reynaldo and a few other to kidnap the school mascot, Capybara, and get fame. Things, however, don’t go as planned. Can Olive and her friend pull off getting noticed without getting in trouble?
Told like a play, the author does a great job of balancing the storyline with keeping true to the format. The main characters are likable and quirky, but the secondary characters are under-developed. The under-development, however, plays well into the well written plot. Fans of realistic fiction, school stories, and anyone who’s wanted to get noticed at school will enjoy reading this book.
EL. OPTIONAL. Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.