Wingnut: Operation Payback is the middle-grade story of two boys: the unnamed narrator, aged 10 and “Wingnut”, the strange boy with big ears who lives down the street. Though they are strangers at first, the two boys become fast friends, engaging in the types of rollicking mischief that only young boys can accomplish. From a close encounter with a neighborhood witch to surviving a magpie attack, these two boys have rip-roaring adventures over the course of this book. When the narrator discovers that the school bullies are picking on Wingnut, they devise Operation Payback to give the bullies a taste of their own medicine.
Most people knew a Wingnut – the neighborhood oddball – growing up, which is why this story will resonate with readers of many ages. The prose is easy to read, though the dialogue comes across as a bit stilted and unrealistic. Ten year olds don’t usually speak like this: “Why do you risk getting into trouble by going to a place that is designated out of bounds for the school kids?” Even with the dialogue issues, though, the book is very readable. It keeps up a fast, fun pace, ensuring that readers will be entertained from beginning to end. They’ll root for Wingnut and the narrator as they encounter problem after problem
Wingnut: Operation Payback is a book that any young boy is sure to enjoy, though parents should be cautioned that the characters do get into some trouble (and, of course, injure themselves in the process). They might set the wrong example for impressionable children. Still, it’s a fun book for kids, or even for adults nostalgic for their youth.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.