Manny Peña is a nine-year-old boy who spends a lot of time practicing superhero moves. And even though his skills are pretty advanced, he still can’t figure out how to stay out of trouble at school – especially in library class. So, when he’s banned from checking out books for what amounts to his entire life, he declares war on the school librarian.
But even with fastidious planning, and help from his best bud Rudy, Manny’s revenge plots spin out of control. When all he’s left with is a hostage library fish swimming laps in the boys’ room toilet, and a seriously furious principal, Manny reaches an all-time low. After all, he has no library book, no dog (stolen), no dad (left), and next to no one to believe in him. With the “troublemaker” label hanging heavy, Manny has to find a way to make a comeback before “bad-label kid” becomes his truth. Good thing he spends so much time on those superhero moves.
Four shark teeth and a coyote skull that looked like a shoe. That’s all it took to get me banned from checking out library books for the rest of my life.
But it was my super sharp laser beam vision that got me in trouble in the first place.
Fact: I saw my school librarian, Ms. Vandershoot with her finger up her nose. Next fact: I saw her eat boogers. And right after she ate the first one, her mouth was drooling like she was hungry for more.
So when I told everyone in my whole second grade class what Ms. Vandershoot was up to, I was just telling the truth. Everybody in the library made a really loud “ewwwww” sound, and John Paz pretended to throw up in the trash.
“MANNY!” Ms. Vandershoot yelled my name. Which I’m used to, ‘cause teachers scream at me a lot. But this time, Vandershoot blew fire through her snout when she said it. Then, she made the usual death threats, and told me that she didn’t want to see my little face. After that, she sent me to the bad kid desk in the back of the library.
But having to keep your head down gets really hot. And after awhile it’s hard to breathe.
So I kept popping my eyes up - kind of like an alligator peeking up over the water. I’d poke my mouth up too, just to get some fresh air. But being all alone gets boring. Fast.