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Young Adult Novel

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  283 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
The Wild Dada Ducks members cause all sorts of mischief around their junior high school, but although the boys are not bad, they like to pretend that they are true dadaists with unintentional and irrational behavior.
Hardcover, 58 pages
Published March 1st 1982 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published 1982)
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Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
Logan has to read this. So does Jack. Without blowing details, it's told by a member of the Wild Dada Ducks - a group of Dadaist boys in highschool. I could clearly see these guys being my husband, and afore mentioned friends.

It is too funny.

My son loves Daniel Pinkwater's picture books (especially Rainy Morning and anything about Irving and Muktuk) and so we were inspired to explore the other avenues of his fiction.

It's a short book - even a slow reader could read it in less than a hour proba
Inspiration Cadillac
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the most important book ever written.

Well, to a certain young kid who picked it up in the library years ago. It remains the most influential book in my life and even going back to read it as a less young adult, possibly even a full adult, I find it poignant enjoyable. Mr Pinkwater's best work I think.
Greg Kerestan
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the weirdest novellas I have ever read, a statement which stands whether I am in fourth grade or four years into government work. A group of high school outcasts follow the principles of Dada art and philosophy religiously, until one of their attempts at outsider art accidentally turns an anonymous nerd into a quasi-fascist dictator. Is it just a funny story? A satire on the failings of democracy? I don't know for sure, but reading it in 2017 after the Trump vs. Clinton campaign, it feels ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Long Live the Wild Dada Ducks of Himmler High!
I've read it about 10 times but it's always a classic and I enjoyed it as much this time as any time in the past. Kevin Shapiro for President...
Great book for oddballs, outcasts & those that don't fit in. The usual Pinkwater zany, quirky, funny, irreverent masterpiece.
Shoshana G
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was, for many years, my favorite thing ever written. I almost don't want to ever re-read it out of fear that I've aged out of appreciating it.

It is collected in Pinkwater's "5 Novels" collection.
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is the reason I survived grade school and bothered to learn anything about twentieth century Mexican politics and hsitory. Probably helped me out through high school, too. Also, may be the best work on Dadaism written (mostly) in English.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it liked it
My opinion of this book can pretty much be summed up in six letters: LOL WTF?
Nick Fagerlund
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a complex lattice of sharp meta-jokes about art and culture, and then it explosively dismantles itself. It is GREAT.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very Pinkwater. Listened to this on his podcast, but I believe it was unabridged so it counts as reading it. Fun, weird, all I want. Not extraordinary, hence 4 stars.
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kat by: Andrew Cole
Shelves: 5-stars
I read an edition that contains BOTH "Young Adult Novel" AND "Young Adults" (the sequel), an edition which GoodReads does not think exists. Hm. I wouldn't want it any other way, though, as both parts are necessary to complete the arc (or pointed lack-of-arc).

Pinkwater was my favorite author as a kid, due to his warped/ridiculous plots and characters, and the fact that he trusts his young readers with cynical social commentary. (See Lizard Music, The Last Guru.)

Young Adult Novel/Young Adults is f
Julie Decker
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Dada. What is it? Well, by definition it's an art movement--an avant-garde perspective that focused on rejection of standards. So a group of boys have decided to embrace Dada not only in the arts but as a philosophy for their lives--rejecting or inverting every structure they feel shouldn't be applied to them--and they name themselves the Wild Dada Ducks, intent on injecting some absurdity into their daily grind of a school life. One of their missions involves disseminating messages about the co ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Comedy is hard. Comedy in book form is even harder, and very few reach the heights of Young Adult: I challenge you to read it entirely with no laugh or smile carried along the way. It is a very short book, but every word is packed with hilarity, absurdity and wisdom at the same time. Like all good humour, it achieves its goal exposing you to facts that true as they are fun. Read this as a teenager and chances are you will finish it as enlightened as you are entertained, with new knowledge about ...more
Jacob Haller
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Pinkwater's deconstruction of the YA novel, circa 1982. I really liked the book - this was one of the books where the last sentence really made the rest of the story snap into focus for me, which is a neat trick I admire. Also, I thought it captured being a high school student in the 80s really well.

I talked about this book with my friend Carrie for our podcast 'Love YA Like Crazy' -- she wasn't as crazy about it as I was, and in fact may not have entirely forgiven me for making her read
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is very short. It describes the machinations of a group of Dada loving kids at a very large high school. They do funny things like print up cards claiming the principle doesn’t exist and then distribute them throughout the school. Then they decide that one Kevin Shapiro, a nerdy freshman, should be “improved” by their Dada influence and set about trying to improve him. The results are very funny. I like the blurb on the inside jacket cover in which Daniel Pinkwater is quoted as saying, ...more
Blue Rose
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Pinkwater is always so refreshingly ridiculous and this book is no different. He will truly make you laugh out loud with his characters who take themselves way too seriously and put themselves, and others, in the most outrageous situations. It's such a short book it can be read in an hour, but you will be remembering for years to come. If you like Napoleon Dynamite you will love this story.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, art
This book is awesome! Those of you who took AP Art History from Ms. Hughes and remember the Dada movement will get a kick out of this. A group of high school kids take the philosophy to heart and try to live dada. It's great. Highly recommended.

But beware. There is a sequel with an almost identical title that is lame and dirty. It's about the group in college and is called Young Adults.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've cherished this book since I was a teenager and I had the pleasure of reading it to my own kids. Not sure they enjoyed it as much as I did, but it did give me a great chance to teach them about Dada and thereby fill in one of the sizable gaps in their education. Schools these days! Sheesh.

So if you can find a copy of this, read it. Kevin Shapiro commands you.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: favoritebooks
It's very different. That's all I can say without really diving into explaining why. You'll like the characters and definitely feel after reading it that you don't know anyone who writes like Mr. Pinkwater.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Actually it's four point five. Anything that is trying to introduce Dada to a young audience is just plain amazing. I loved this to death. It was hilarious and ruthlessly and delightfully weird. I recommend this highly.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it
An Extremely weird yet enjoyable book.
Chance Lee
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book opened my eyes to literature, and the better shit beyond.
Greg Fanoe
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth
I would highly recommend this to any youths. It was like my favorite book ever when I read it in middle school. Genuinely funny.
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my three "desert island" books.
Alex Szatmary
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the funniest I've ever read.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not as improvised as other Pinkwater books, and I like that. Maybe kind of fucked up, and I like that too.
Mar 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What a book! Introduces young adults to the joys of Dadaism. I laughed so hard the whole book!Fabulous!
Long live the dada ducks!
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-loved, ya
RARE because it's short and sparse but I still really liked it. Probably because of all the ridiculousness.
Dan Eggleston
rated it really liked it
May 31, 2014
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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