Publisher: Putnam JuvenilePublication Date: October 2nd, 2008
In a series of letters home to his friend Meero, Vospop Vsklzwczdztwczky (Voss for short) tells the hilarious story of how he smuggles himself to America in a crate of black-market cheese puffs with his gloomy father Bogdown and his nutty uncle Shpoont.
Settling into the rundown Slobovian section of town, Voss soon finds his first job by opening the door for debutante Tiffany McBloomingdale (an unheard-of act of politeness), rescues his father from a sinister hospital, and even gets the girl of his dreams, though not the one he expects!
Through Voss's comically broken English, readers will find a remarkably fresh view of America. Brimming with pointed satire, a healthy dose of action, and a one-of-a-kind narrator, Voss's crazy adventures are sure to leave a lasting impression.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)
In a word, HILARIOUS! A quick, easy read, which is a good thing because I found this book hard to stop reading. The full title of this book is Voss: How I Came to America and Am Hero, Mostly, and I think that kind of sums up the type of humor in this book. I thought it was genius the way author, David Ives, takes the negative stereotypes of both immigrants and Americans and portrays them in a mostly non-offensive light. I found the protagonist's descriptions and interpretations of things very funny, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about our American society through his eyes. There were a couple of things that rubbed me the wrong way, but overall I thought his observations, though exaggerated, were spot on. I loved that the book was written in letter (or as Voss says, "ladder") format. His manner of speaking was similar to that of an Eastern European person, and I found myself reading the book in my head with an accent. Although I think that much of the humor would go over the heads of the intended audience, I believe tweens and teens would still find this book quite enjoyable.
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Grade Level Recommendation: As I said in my review, a lot of the humor would be lost on younger readers, so while there isn't really objectionable content, I would still recommend this for grades 8 and up (ages 13+).