The Cottonmouth Club
By Lance Marcum
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374315627, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 24, 2005
Summertime and the livin' ain't easy
School's finally out, and eleven-year-old Mitch Valentine is ready to get started on his extensive list of things to do with his best friend - until his mom ruins everything with a surprise announcement. The family is going to take a long trip halfway across the country, to stay with her family down South. Mitch's reluctant summer visit to sweltering farm country tests him in all sorts of ways, starting with his sense of humor. Pitkin, Louisiana, turns out to be a place filled with challenges and dangers, from rope burns to raging bulls.
In this vivid and funny first novel, Mitch discovers that it's his own bad decisions that can make for the biggest challenges and dangers of all.
Lance Marcum is a sixth-grade teacher and lives in Fair Oaks, California. This is his first novel.
"First-time novelist Marcum has crafted a completely believable...narrator in Mitch. Marcum's accounts of Mitch's risk taking are vivid and memorable. What's more, the lesson learned (steer clear of foolish dares from guys with mean streaks) is delivered without heavy-handedness." -- Booklist
"Wonderful." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Mitch's actions and commentary reveal him as intelligent and rambunctious...an adventure yarn within a specific historical space." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A rompin' good time." -- VOYA