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The Fourth Stall (The Fourth Stall)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  2,195 ratings  ·  414 reviews

Chris Rylander delivers a funny Ferris Bueler-style middle grade novel with The Fourth Stall.

Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay hi

Hardcover, 314 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Walden Pond Press (first published December 24th 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 13, 2009 Chris added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I don't feel comfortable rating my own book, but I have read it. I promise.
Carolyn S
I'm currently reading "The Fourth Stall" by Chris Rylander, it's one of the funniest books I've ever picked up and all the chapters crack me up. I've only gotten to page 29 but I already see the problem forming and things getting more intense. So far I've learned that Mac (a small six grader) has made his own little "business" in the East Wing boys bathroom, forth stall from the high window. Other kids in middle school bribe him with money and small favors so they can get test cheats, fake docto ...more
This book was a bit of a sleeper for me. I picked it off the shelf at my library because I knew it was popular with boys from 3rd-6th grade. It didn't grab me right away. I was not instantly struck with an intense desire to find out what happens next. But it had a sneaky way of building up, and by about six chapters in, I was hooked. I kept finding time to slip off to my room to read another chapter or two.

The whole concept of the book is clever and imaginative. Mac is a 6th grader, a little on
Jillian Heise
Review originally posted at Heise Reads & Recommends

I'm always on the lookout for books that will appeal to the boys in my classes. I struggle to find those books that will really engage them through contemporary situations and humor - well I've now found another one to add to my highly recommended for boys list with THE FOURTH STALL. Chris Rylander has created a funny book with heart. Mac, so nicknamed because he can get anything kids want and can solve their problems, thinks he has everyth
Aug 19, 2014 Emma added it
Shelves: summer-reading
A boy named Mac solves problems since he was little, now he has the hardest problem yet. I really liked this book because it was fascinating how one problem just leads to even more problems. I recommend this book to people who like to help others and solve problems.
Irene Carracher Kistler
I listened to the audiobook version of The Fourth Stall. Much of the important action happens in, well, the fourth stall of a deserted bathroom in the school. As a setting, a bathroom stall is so intriguing. I wanted to read it for that reason alone! How will Chris Rylander make me want to keep reading a potty story? It's literally a potty story! Well, it was excellent! It's a full-on bromance with a twist of mystery and adventure. The middle school little guys versus the high school bullies. It ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Sixth grader, Mac, is the Godfather of his school. Do you need help? Protection? Mac and his crew can provide it – for a price. His office is in the abandoned East Wing bathroom….the fourth stall. He meets his match when a third grader comes to him seeking protection from the legendary bully, Staples. Staples has been running a gambling ring in the school and rigging the outcomes of sports events. Now half the school is in his debt and he’s threatening to collect.
I really looked forward to rea
Psst! Hey, YOU. Yeah you. Come over here…
Do I have a story that you’re gonna be glad YOU heard.

Picture it. Sixth grade. Just last week.
There were these kids you see, but mind you not just any kids. Kids with a mission and the means to accomplish them. The brains…Mac. The brawn…Vince. Together they were one unstoppable duo, but in a good way…at least for most of us. They could be depended on to get you outta a jam JUST like that. No problem. That was until Staples and his goons showed up. Whew. L
Honestly, I was hoping for more toilet humor.

Unusual for me, it's true.

But with a title like "The Fourth Stall" and a roll of toilet paper on the cover? I thought this would be a slamdunk for middle school boys.

But no, it's a disappointingly clean read. It plods a bit, and I agree with my Goodreads colleagues who say that it majorly pales in comparison to the awesome The Big Splash.

And here are some specific complaints:

1. Mac seems to ricochet between crazy-saavy and unbelievably nieve. At one
If you've ever wondered what Al Capone and his buddies might've been like in middle school, The Fourth Stall is your answer. In this cunning, smart tween-age mobster story, Mac is a savvy sixth grader who runs a shady service out of a defunct bathroom stall.

With his longtime buddy Vince backing him up, Mac sells solutions to other kids' problems. He's perfectly happy delivering practical solutions to problems like procuring test answers, or even making loans, until a competitor starts cutting in
I read this book because it and its sequels were constantly on my "hold" list in the library the last two months of school. I must say, while I see why it was so popular with the 6th grade boys, it left me sorely disappointed. First of all, its appeal by the kids is clear to me: they like Mac who gets things done while skirting all authority figures and often the law, or at least school rules. It is super easy to read with a basic vocabulary and short sentences. The only thing to go over their h ...more
Colby Sharp
This morning I finished Chris Rylander’s first middle reader novel The Fourth Stall. I think that authors get better the more books they publish, but sometimes I wonder if that first book is their best book. Authors work so hard to get published that they often spend years thinking about, writing, rewriting and then rewriting that first book. It is so hard to get published that I bet to get noticed that first book has to be a knockout. Mr. Rylander may go on to have a huge career as an author, b ...more
Jeff Raymond
Back in my librarian days, the hardest thing to do, hands down, was to find good books for boys. The publishing industry is basically crap for boys - it's all paranormal romance, vampires and creatures of the dark, or over-the-top action books for guys. There's no middle ground, and then people wonder why boys don't read. There are a lot of reasons why, but the problem only compounds itself when, during the most important reading times of their lives, we're not providing the literature they need ...more
The Library Lady
Sep 21, 2011 The Library Lady rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Chicago Cubs fans
Note: My 12 yr old daughter picked this up and commented that one of her male classmates was reading this and said it was good. Then she put it back down!

The premise is good--though it's pretty reminiscent of The Big Splash--and that one was funnier. That's what I think may be wrong here. You are really supposed to suspend your disbelief and believe that all of this is going on in a world that is nearly as empty of adults as that of the strip "Peanuts". Parents are all clueless or helpless and t
Mac and Vince run a tight business. If you need something, he'll get it, anywhere from a date to homecoming to part-time protection. He is a classic middle school business, with a twist. You can repay him with favors, and his office is the fourth stall from the high window in the East Wing boy's bathroom. Business is booming but one Monday, a customer comes shaking into the stall. He owes money to a high school legend named Staples. The duo must now outsmart Staples' impenetrable gambling ring, ...more
Just finished The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander. Wish I could say I loved it. But I didn’t. It’s not that it isn’t everything the reviews on the inside cover say it is. It’s “a tale with the arch flatness of a 1940’s noir crime novel.” Heck, the cover is a clever take off on Puzio’s The Godfather covers. Very clever. And he’s got that Chandler/Runyon hardboiled private eye talk down cold, with a grade school slant. “He said he’d hurt my cat!” and “I heard he stole some kid’s bike and made him t ...more
I picked this up for my kids because I love The Godfather books and movies. I thought it was a great premise and would be fun to read together. It was not. What it was - a big disappointment.

I didn't think the violence was too disturbing for the recommended age. There's punching, kicking, biting and blood, but it is not described graphically. No one dies or even comes close to dying.

More disturbing was the warped morality. The audience of The Godfather books/movies is well aware of the illegalit
This book was very good. It was very interesting at all times, I didn't want to stop reading it. Never boring, easy to understand, tons of cliff hangers. It was also very funny.

In the sixth grade, there is an awesome boy at a middle school named Christian but everybody calls him Mac. He is a problem solver. His office is in the fourth stall of the boys bathroom. If you have a problem, no matter how big it is, he can solve it for you. He helps people because they pay him. And he and his friend Vi
Overall, this book is adorable. But that's my version of adorable. I find it cute watching kids doing adult things, which is pretty much what Mac and Vince are doing. They're in sixth grade and they run a business. They help a kid get what they want, whether that be an R rated video game or some pizza for lunch. However, a kid wants something a bit harder to accomplish. This is where I begin to question the morals presented in this book, because you must remember; this book is for kids/tweens/no ...more
Mac and Vince have been running an advice and help business since kindergarten. The boys are now in the 6th grade and they run their business out of an unused boys’ room in an little used portion of their school building. All goes well until a bad guy starts a gambling ring at the school and bullies the younger kids to help him.
To get rid of a bully, Mac enlists the help of the “normal” bullies at his school. There’s a spy in Mac’s business and he has to find out who it is. Ultimately it all w
The Fourth Stall, by Chris Rylander, is a realistic fiction novel that explains the life of two best friends owning a business together in their school. Mac, the business owner, and Vince, the co-manager, run their business in the fourth stall of the east wing bathroom. Mac and Vince's main purpose for starting their business was to earn enough money to watch the Cubs play in the World Series and to help kids out at school. If you need something, go to Mac, because he can get you what you want, ...more
Kate Hastings
Grades 5-8. If the Godfather took place in a school, it would be this book. Mac and Vince run a business out of an abandoned bathroom stall. Kids pay them money and favors to take care of problems-- like finding answers to tests, getting rid of bullies, or tracking down a graffiti artist. But one day everything changes when a students suggests the legendary "Staples," a boss from another school, is starting to take bets from kids at school and trying to fix sport games. Mac discovers he has a sn ...more
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The book The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander is a great story. Christian also known as Mac and his friend Vince run a business in the fourth stall of the east wing in their school. If u need a doctors note or hall pass, Mac has the problem solved with a fee of favors or money. They want to save enough money to buy seats at the Cubs world series. One day a client named Fred comes and does not have a easy problem. He says Staples runs a gambling ring throughout the school and he tried to leave. Sta ...more
Andrew Salway
The Fourth Stall is an amazing book.! It's funny, fast paced, and flat out amazing. It's a great book for any person from about 4th grade and up. There are also Part II and Part III which are amazing. It is one of my favorites ever
I decided to read this book because I was looking for a new author to read about. The author Chris Rylander presented a new twist and creativity.
I enjoyed the character Kitten, the way he was described in the story was interesting. The most vicious boy in the school, the biggest baddest bully. He looks like a kitten hes short and sweet. He is my favourite character in the story and has a lot of guts.
"something i learned long ago from watching lots of action movies is having th element of surpr
Jessie Harrell
fabulous well-written, humurous, face-paced MG novel that should appeal to adults who appreciate kids lit as much as the kids themselves.
My 10 yr old son recommended this series to me. It is definitely a middle primary kind of book, not the teen or almost teen stuff I have been reading lately, not just because it is actually about some fifth grade kids, but also because of the plot and types of things that occur. I mean this in a good way - it is eminently suitable for slightly younger kids. It is also quite funny and reminds me of so many books I read in my childhood - kids solving problems, only involving adults occasionally, a ...more
Teena R.
This book made an offer I can't refuse! I rarely give a 5 stars to a non SF/F novel but I truly love this book!

Mac and his best friend Vince has been running "the business" since they were kindergarteners. They help you out for a small fee here and a favour there and own the school in a good guy way. Then the mythic "Staples" branched into their turf and they will surely do everything to keep the status quo.

I love Mac's voice but I'm always a fan of first person smart ass narrator. Doubly hilari
Feb 08, 2011 Cheryl marked it as interesting-possibilities
Recommended to Cheryl by: First Reads
Diary of the Wimpy kid meets the Sopranos? That definitely makes this book sound like a great read!
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