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Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Junior Library Guild Selection

This is the story of THE LEAGUE OF PICKLE MAKERS.

Ben: who began it all by sneaking in one night and filling homeroom with ball-pit balls.

Frank: who figured out that an official club, say a pickle making club, could receive funding from the PTA.

Oliver: who once convinced half of the class that his real parents had found him and he was going to
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Roaring Brook Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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2012 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
322nd out of 1,001 books — 6,241 voters
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90th out of 339 books — 667 voters

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Community Reviews

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When I was in college I took a course in journalism to fulfill an English credit. I had no real desire to report the news in any way, shape, or form so when the time came to write an article for the paper I had to find something that would be in my wheelhouse. Ultimately I decided to write a piece on the history of pranks at my alma mater. It was a fun piece to write and instilled in me not a love of reporting but rather a love of pranking and all it entails. A good prank, a true prank, does no ...more
3.5 Stars

Kim Baker’s debut, Pickle, is the type of middle grade book that invites the reader in, imparting special secrets and trusting them as part of an inner circle. It is creative, fun, never crosses that line into too cheesy, and yes, a little bit gross. Kids will love this book.

Pickle and the members of the League of Pickle Makers (aka the PTA–Prank and Trickster Association) will bring a little laughter to the lives of all it’s readers (yes, even those over 20–as long as all of their humo
The first thing you need to realize about pickle making is that it is serious business. Pickling has a long and illustrious history in the food preservation industry. Pssst! Are all of the grown-ups gone? They are? Great. Then we can let you in on a secret. The League of Pickle Makers is really a cover for the newest club at Fountain Point Middle School—the P.T.A. (Pranks and Trick Association). The club was started by me, Ben Ruiz and we only do pranks that are funny or fun and not mean. If you ...more
When sixth grader Ben Diaz fills his classroom with several donated pit balls as a prank, he decides it might be fun to do more of the same. Together, with four other classmates, he organizes the League of Pickle Makers as an extracurricular school club that even qualifies for funding, and under that name, the club's real work is accomplished through the appropriately-named Prank and Trick Association. Because their work must be done anonymously, Ben and the others agree to exclude his best frie ...more
2nd read December 2014 still a hoot!

February 2014
2014-15 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee. What a hoot - 4.5 stars! Great beginning will pull in kid readers, especially to keep the secret, I went straight to the website to check it out, I'm sure young readers will as well. Loved the first prank, I kept thinking of the disclaimer: don't try this at home! My students will definitely connect with the Hispanic characters. This book will make a great read aloud with its humor and funny figurative langu
Ms. Yingling
After Ben performs the epic prank of filling his school classroom up with the entire contents of a ball pit he gets from a local pizza parlor, he decides that he needs a group to help him pull off more pranks. His best friend, Hector, won't be any use, since his grandmother is the principal of their middle school. He enlists Frank and Oliver, since they seem like likely candidates for trouble, and Bean, since Frank won't join without her. They plan a birthday celebration for a new girl on her fi ...more
Barb Middleton
Pranksters at my high school made life exciting by doing stuff like plugging a stick up the ketchup dispenser so when the victim, such as myself, pushed down on the pump, the stick went sailing out like a blow dart spraying the victim with ketchup. First time it happened to me, I had to go home and change pants. When the ketchup dispenser was out for a lunch meal, I had to watch out for the blow dart prankster. When toilet paper draped the ten oak trees that sit in my parents' front yard, I thou ...more
Alright, what to say about this one?
When it started out, I was really "meh." The writing was very elementary. Not only was it not challenging to read, it basically offered itself caught, shot, and served on a platter. And not in a good, "this just flows so nicely" kind of way. More like a, "hey, there's a word longer than two syllables, let's throw it a parade!" kind of way. You're writing for children, give them something to chew on and stop spoon feeding them.
Okay, enough with the food referen
Colby Sharp
I am predicting this book to be a CYBILS MG finalist.
Pickle: The (formerly) anonymous prank club of fountain point middle school / Kim Baker / 2012
Genre: fiction
Format: juvenile literature/ novel
Plot summary: Using a bogus name, the League of Picklemakers, sixth-grader Ben and three recruits start a prank-pulling club and receive funding from their middle school's PTA.

Considerations: mischievous behavior

Review citation: School Library Journal, vol 58
"The club members all have backstories that make them distinct characters; the adults get less atte
Tina Hoggatt
Pickle is a delight, This first novel by Kim Baker follows a middle school group of friends as they create a prank club, under cover of a pickle making after-school club. Wise and funny, the story starts with Ben who plays plays a prank on impulse that starts off a series of events that threatens to get away from him and his fellow pranksters. This book is about friendship and family and in its gentle, engaging way models the society we actually live in: multicultural, complex, communal - withou ...more
This was a book that I picked up randomly simply because of its title. I thought, "there has to be something very interesting about a book named 'Pickle'" and I was right. I didn't even see the great subtitle of this book when I picked it out - The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Blub of Fountain Point Middle School. This book is all about a Prank Club - how it gets started, how it works, how they choose members, etc. One of the things I like most about it though is when one of the pranks goes beyond ...more
This is a funny book about a group of middle school students who form a club to pull pranks. The fun part is that there is a website to go along with it that requires a password which is provided in the text.

A neat thing I noticed was that it's not totally about culture or representation, but the friends are diverse and inclusive (except for excluding the boy who might rat them out). Also, there are a few instances that have Ben, the main character, thinking about his heritage and questioning t
When I started this book, I immediately knew where it was headed, but kept thinking "oh please no, don't let this end with what I think". But sure enough it did and for this reason, I totally dislike it. Ben gets a whole pit full of ball-pit balls and finds his room at school and drops the stinky things I there. He decides that was so much fun he asks some other imagined loaners to join him for more pranks. If the pranks would have remained innocent and not malicious I might of thought different ...more
The novel is lighthearted and fun. The pacing is fast and chapters are not long, so a child wouldn't get bored easily. With the popularity of Diary of Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, and the James Patteron's Middle School novels, the illustrations add another layer to the story. It is definitely an easy sell to kids. What set's it apart is the Mexican American protaginist and the fact the issues ARE EVERY DAY ISSUES---and not all about cultural/identity issues. Ben’s parents use Spanish words and sen ...more
I found this book in the library after my son had way too much fun with a whoopee cushion and a plastic snake! After reading the cover, he was immediately immersed in the book, and he liked it so much he asked me to read it as well.

So I did. I am somewhat less enthusiastic about it than my son, and that is mainly because I couldn't follow the character development of some of the characters.
The story first : a couple of 6th grader form a secret group for pranking their school and exasperate thei
Karron Dobbs
I wasn't prepared to like this as much as I'll inspired to create some fun of your own!
The Styling Librarian
Pickle - The (Formerly) Anonymous PRANK CLUB of Fountain Point Middle School by Kim Baker, illustrated by Tim Probert - What a hilarious book where pranks get out of hand and just having fun becomes actions that impact numerous people in a negative light.
Shanshad Whelan
A lot of fun. I do feel like the author took a couple of ideas and pointers from Improv Everywhere or another group like it. In the end, this sort of felt like an updated take on the Gordon Korman MacDonald Hall books.
Starts out as a way to get money and meeting space for a club for pranksters, and snowballs into something more complicated.

Ben can't involve his best friend, because Hector's controlling grandmother is the principal. And Hector ratted Ben out for something he didn't even do. And can't Ben have other friends? But then his new friends start taking the pranks in directions Ben didn't want to go. The school is getting more irritated, and the "Pickle Club" has to come up with something for the Pion
This book has a lot of problems. The author asks us to suspend our belief once too often in this unrealistic tale of life at a middle school. All the teachers and other adults at the school are clueless; the kids are allowed to roam the halls and classrooms after school with no adult supervision; That money would just be handed over to kids for their clubs? Come on! Too many coincidences that allow the prank club to get out of trouble. Unless it’s complete satire, which this isn’t, there has to ...more
Super fun, though because it might make teachers nervous. Probable read aloud later in the year.

Reread January, 2013, as a classroom read aloud.
A quirky cast of characters and a whimsical set of pranks make for a fun middle grade read. Humor loving kids in third grade and up will enjoy this one.
Ben, Frank, Oliver, Bean, and Sienna are the "League of Pickle Makers" as far as their after-school club's sponsor and PTA funders know. What they actually spend their club time and funds on is planning and executing fun, chaotic, mostly-harmless pranks at their middle school. Pickle's told in the first person by 6th grader Ben Diaz, and I was impressed by the authenticity of Baker's rendering of his thoughts and all the kids' speech (unrealistic dialogue or observations are the first thing that ...more
This book is great fun and my students are going to go crazy for it. Full review to follow soon.
Cooper Renner
Read for review for
Ben was just starting sixth grade in middle school. Ben is also a prankster - not in a mean way though, most of the time. Ben just wants to do things that gets everybody going and enjoying themselves. Of course, he wants to not get caught as well. For his first stunt he gets garbage bags of free from the pizza parlor that was closing it's ball bouncing pit. You've seen them around - at the bottom of a tubular slide sometimes that all the kids can bury , jump, swim in. Anyway, Ben got trash bags ...more
Teresa Scherping
It all began... with ball-pit balls. Ben Diaz sees an ad in the paper for free ball-pit balls to anyone who would take them away. Naturally intrigued, he hauls away bags of them, but his parents won't let him keep them in the apartment. (They kind of stink.) Instead, Ben goes past his school that night and finds the window of his homeroom wide open. The next day, the whole room is full of balls, and everyone is wondering who did it. So begins a secret group of pranksters, masquerading as a club ...more
It’s Monday morning. You’re tired, cranky, and already desperate for Friday. You wait outside your classroom door with your 10 pound backpack and a lunch box, possibly sweating in your coat. Your teacher opens the classroom door, and you can’t stop staring. The entire room is filled with plastic balls from the local pizza place’s ball pit. Your classmates start diving in left and right, not even caring that the room smells like Parmesan cheese and feet.

If you were attending Fountain Point Middle
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