The Power of Positive Pranking
by Nat Amoore
reviewed by Sarah Custance
Here is an incredibly funny, thought provoking, heart-tugging book that makes you feel anyone and everyone can make a difference.
Nat Amoore is the author of ‘Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire’ and though ‘The Power of Positive Pranking’ is not a sequel is does take place in the same town and school and with some overlapping of characters. This can absolutely be a stand-alone book but if you have read Nat’s first book then you will find a few Easter eggs throughout this one.
Casey Wu is a normal sixth grader, she gets good grades, plays scrabble with her grandfather, and tries to stay out of the spotlight which is exactly why no one would suspect her of being the mastermind behind the string of anarchy-causing pranks being held throughout Watterson Primary school.
Together with her best friends Zeke and Cookie the trio make up the secret activist organisation ‘Green Peas’ who are trying to be heard and make a difference with their pranks, to draw attention to serious issues. When the three young pranksters/activists get wind of a major cover up organised by the town Mayor they stop at nothing to expose her and her greedy ways. No prank is too big, no plan is too elaborate, and all of the town’s people will soon realise that it is hard to ignore more than one kid when things get personal.
This is a real step up from Nat’s first novel which, while a lot of fun, lacks the underlying seriousness of ‘The Power of Positive Pranking’.
This book has everything that I want the kids in my school to read. It focuses on serious causes and demanding change in any way you can (but without hurting anyone, “big impact, no casualties” is how they describe it in the book), enact change by finding out what works for you and running with it. For Casey it is pranking, and she uses her gifts to make people laugh while the message still stands clear and true. When a book is about something important, an issue that today’s students and young people really care about, it must be handled carefully and with tact.
I would definitely recommend this book to all young activists, though maybe with a side note of parental wisdom on what is acceptable in standing up for your beliefs and what may be going a bit too far.
Puffin 2020 Paperback $14.99 368 pages ISBN 9780143796381