How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy
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How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  304 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington is the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler at Striker's Bowling Paradise. But while Lamar's a whiz at rolling strikes, he always strikes out with girls. And his brother, Xavier the Basketball Savior, is no help. Xavier earns trophy after trophy on the basketball court and soaks up Dad's attention, leaving no room for Lamar's problem...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Balzer + Bray
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Dixie Keyes
Crystal Allen has written a novel for middle school readers that will take them on a journey of laughter, growing up, family and neighbors, and a 13 year old's first kiss. I laughed, cried and lived with Lamar's big, bad error and imagined his mom by his side, loving him no matter what. I applauded his father throughout and loved his neighbors and best friends. Thanks, Crystal Allen, for reminding us, through Lamar, that we can survive loss and mistakes and that good people are always there for...more
Christina
There aren't very many books for middle graders or teens that feature bowling, and even fewer that feature African-American kids who like to bowl. So just on that notion alone, this book is pretty unique. But it is also a fun story about two very different brothers, about friendship, and the value of being true to yourself. Lamar is the self-titled "King of Striker's", the best bowler at the local bowling alley. Since his asthma prevents him from doing any other sports, unlike his basketball sup...more
Raina
Voice. Voice, voice, voice.

Lamar's voice jumps out of the page at you.

I read the first half-or-so of this book out loud, and the way Lamar talks is unforgettable. Hilarious, gregarious, and goofy.

It's surprising when the plot gets a little thicker. There's some seriously familial issues which need to get worked out, some broken and ill-found friendships, some romance. The book deals with some real stuff. It almost gets heavy in parts.

It's a book about finding your place in the world, about rel...more
Lynda Felder
Any book that makes me laugh and cry gets all stars. I had a hard time, at first, adjusting to the strong voice in this book. But eventually I fell in love with Lamar's 13-year-old character. He has an older brother who bullies him, he has a dad who doesn't understand him, his mother is already dead, he's got wheezy lungs that won't let him play any sport other than bowling, and he pulls dozens of immature pranks.

As soon as I got over Lamar's bravado and comic-book style word choice, the story...more
Kris Odahowski
Crystal Allen, what a great new up and coming writing!! The story of Lamar would be a great book for teen boys. Lamar has a back story which deserves a prequel, he has pulled a lot of pranks almost to point of being a prank bully. The shows the legacy of pranking in his social life with other other students. Now that he wants to been seen as serious and more adult his prankster history marks him. Lamar is also dealing with some serious family issues, and find his way into a relationship with a k...more
Emma Lesko
The voice and the premise of this book are truly unique. I love the idea of an asthmatic kid making bowling the next big thing, and I’ve never encountered a voice like Lamar’s in kid or adult lit. Also, I’m always a fan of kids’ books that advocate for inclusion and push against society’s jock hero-worship paradigm. This book does so with tenderness, humor, and heart.

It took me a while to get hooked on the story because I was mistaking it for something much lighter than it actually is, but I’m...more
Wyatt
that was an awesome book it does not take long to get into and you will never get out of the book you will always wonder whats next this and ok for now winners or runners up I know both will win something
Stefani
Love the story; I enjoyed the promotion of bowling as a sport!

However, I was distracted by the audiobook narrator. The voices were either non-existent or way over-the-top.
Joshua
excellent! a book about making mistakes and picking yourself up... bowling is only a set piece... it's a friendship coming of age story, not a sports book.
Ayub D.
COOLL BOOK
Doret
13yr old Lamar Washington is one of the best bowlers in Coffin, IN. Unfortunately not many people appreciate the sport of bowling, Lamar wants to change that. He also no longer wants to be known as the prankster, so girls take him seriously. Lamar's ready for his first girlfriend.

Last year Lamar and Sergio, his best friend played tricks on Makeda, giving her the nickname fivehead. When Lamar spots Makeda at Strikers he doesn't recognize her. Now Lamar is doing everything can to prove he's a diff...more
Ari
Some of the 'lingo' is rather cheesy in this book. In fact, at times it seemed outdated. On the very first page Lamar is listening to his best friend Sergio 'bump his gums'. I've never heard that expression before so I asked my dad who knows a lot of slang. He said that expression was older than he was (he grew up in the '80s), but hey, maybe it's popular in Indiana? There are a few other examples of really cheesy dialogue/comebacks but in the end, I think it all adds to Lamar's charm. I was ama...more
Yakety Yaks
[The Maddest, Baddest Synopsis Around…]
I am taking this synopsis straight from the author’s website for one simple reason: it is the waaay better than anything I could write!

Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington is the maddest, baddest most spectacular bowler ever at Striker’s Bowling Paradise. But when it comes to girls, he doesn’t have game—not like his older brother Xavier the Basketball Savior. And certainly not like his best friend “Spanish fly guy” Sergio. So Lamar vows to spend the summer ch...more
Leslie
"Crystal Allen’s How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy drew me in from the very first pages where Lamar and his best friend Sergio are talking on the phone; the ribbing between the two, the obvious affection and juvenile flavoring. “Scared to face you? First, if I had your face, I’d sue my parents” (2), Lamar tells his friend. Lamar is cocksure and his wit and strut is equal parts painful and hilarious. He’s 13."
[...]
"How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy deals in relationships...more
Ed
Dec 04, 2012 Ed added it
Allen, Crystal. (2011). How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy. New York: HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 288 pp. ISBN 978-0-06-199272-8 (Hard Cover); $16.99.*

Quiz time: How many middle school books are in print featuring a trash talkin’, hip hoppin’, African American bowling champ? Can anyone name even one bowling book novel for middle school students? I rest my case for purchasing this book! For any of its way too many plot threads, I highly recommend purchasing this book strictly on...more
Barbara Mathis
I really enjoyed this book! I think it is a very well written story and hits on deeper levels than one might think. However, I can go without hearing "Holy Guacamole!" or "Holy Crackers and Cream Cheese!" ever again ;)

Lamar, the main character, lives with his father and older brother. Their family is still healing after the loss of Lamar's mother. Lamar is known for being the king of pranks and the king of Striker's, the local bowling alley. His older brother is known as "Xavier the basketball...more
Reader
A fascinating mix of a too little lauded sport (bowling) and a unique protagonist. Lamar's a bowling king in his small time Indiana town. The problem with that? His brother's a basketball superstar and in Indiana that's all anyone ever cares about. With his severe asthma Lamar can't possibly compete, so he turns his attention instead on getting a lady, palling around with his best friend, and maybe someday meeting his bowling idol Bubba. So when Lamar succeeds in finding a fine honey and gets to...more
Ms. Yingling
Lamar loves to bowl, but his father only cares about his brother, who is a star basketball player. Things are tough in the household because Lamar's mother passed away when he was younger, and his father is having work cuts that limit the family's money. When the Billy Jenks, who is constantly in trouble, offers Lamar a chance to make a lot of money by playing with him in games people bet on, Lamar thinks he has something good going, until he realizes that his bowling idol, Bubba Sanders, would...more
Mason
It is a great book about a boy named Lamar. I definently think it has a shot at winning the newberry award. Well Lamar loves bowling and about everyday he goes bowling and he gos with his best friend Sergio. He goes into Strikers which is the bowling place he bowls at and he saw a sign saying that Bubba Sanders Lamars favorite bowler will be coming to Strikers on the 4th of July. Well he will be giving out bowling supplies and gear. You have to write an essay and win to get some gear. Well a guy...more
Tracie
Things aren't great at home since Lamar's mother died. His father only seems to have time for work and his older brother Xavior the basketball savior and Xavior hates Lamar's guts. Lamar loves to bowl though and spends his free time at the local lanes hanging with his best friend, Sergio. One day Lamar subs in a game with Billy Jenks who has been to juvie boot camp several times, and Billy pays him! Lamar thinks he's found the good life - bowl when Billy sets up a game and make some cash doing...more
Catherine Meyer
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an arc for this delightfully hilarious and fun middle grade novel. I love the way debut author Crystal Allen developed Lamar Washington. His family is believable and you can keenly feel the way Lamar wants to do what he loves, but also struggles due to his asthma by not fitting in by being a part of 'cool' sports -- like his brother, Xavier the Basketball Savior. As Lamar tries to make his own dreams come true, he winds up working like a hustler and pulls a...more
Terry
Little Kid Reaction: Review pending.

Big Kid Reaction: I struggled with this for a while, because even though I knew Lamar had to be the "hero," he wasn't a very pleasant or sympathetic character. About halfway through, though, he grew on me and the story became much richer. It is an enjoyable read, but not a book I'd pick for every reader. I don't mind street talk, but it was overdone.

Pros: Lots of dialogue and just a small group of characters make this a tight-knit story that will appeal to rel...more
Maria Kramer
Lamar loves to bowl and his life is looking up -- fine girlfriend, even a chance to make serious money, albeit with known bad-boy Billy Jenks. But when Lamar's feud with his big brother Xavier reaches a tipping point, will his bid for revenge ruin all the good things he has?

This book had the potential to turn after-school-special schlocky, but Crystal Allen's excellent sense of humor kept that from happening. The positive message of the resolution may seem a bit hackneyed to the old and cynical...more
Kathleen Guinnane
This was a different kind of sports novel. I liked the family tension and it's resolution. I also liked the friendship issues. The slang isn't any that I or my students are familiar with, but they'd understand. It also resolved in a happy but believable way.
Cara
Lamar is a really likeable character. He has an older brother X who is a basketball superstar, but Lamar isn't jealous because he is the King of Strikers. He loves bowling and he's good at it. Lamar makes some really bad choices. I mean the kind of choices that you want to read with your eyes half closed so you don't really have to see the terrible choices he's making! He redeems himself in the end, but he learns that no matter how sorry he is, he can't really undo what he's done.
I liked that th...more
Becky
I read this by CD and the African-American accent of the reader made the voice of Lamar and others seem very authentic. At first, listening to what I would call jive-talk turned me off. I imagine that's how African-American students might feel listening to some very caucasian-sounding dialogue. I do think this novel will speak to many of our students that other novels might not reach. It is well written and addresses a variety of issues: fathers raising sons, bullying, stealing, hustling, brothe...more
lilylovespjo
I really loved this book. At some parts it was sad at other it was happy and at other it was just plain hilarious! This book caught my attention and deserved to be a sunshine state book!
Lisa
Lamar is a slightly nerdy, asthmatic, never been kissed, king of the bowling lanes guy saddened by the recent loss of his mother and living in the shadow of his basketball superstar brother, Xavier the basketball savior. It's summer vacation and Bubba Sanders, a pro bowler, is coming to Coffin, Indiana! Looks like it could be shaping up to be Lamar's best summer ever, especially when he lands a girl and an easy paycheck. But things quickly go awry and Lamar finds himself in big trouble.

Not part...more
Cheri Williams
Lamar’s got game—the biggest, baddest, bestest bowling game ever. He’s about to get some green and the girl, too. Unless his new friend and latest prank land him in the gutter, that is. High-speed, hilarious and full of heart, HOW LAMAR’S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY, is my favorite kind of read.

Snort-out-loud funny, it’s perfect for boys, girls, grown-ups with funny bones and pretty much anyone with a pulse. Since it got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly *and* was chosen as a Juni...more
Whitney
The "playful" language seemed fake and was distracting. I did appreciate the variety of characters. I'm not sure if my students would enjoy this book or not.
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