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Pirates of the Retail Wasteland
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Pirates of the Retail Wasteland

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  72 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Leon and his miscreant buddies from the gifted pool are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore! Their favorite downtown coffeeshop, Sip–the only survivor in the barren moonscape of decrepit Old Downtown–is in danger of being run out of business by the ubiquitous and oh-so-corporate coffee chain, Wackford’s. Wackford’s doesn’t host readings or smell funky or ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 2008)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Michaela Pallante aka "Mickey" for

Leon and his friends have a problem.

Just as they are assigned to come up with a monument for their gifted pool group, they learn a terrible truth. Their favorite coffee shop, Sip, could be going out of business.

Sip has been struggling against its big corporate competitor, Wackfords, another coffee chain downtown, and it's quickly losing the battle.

Leon and his friends don't like this and decide to take matters into their own hands
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adam Selzer I love you.
I liked that Adam again nailed that whole "too smart for their own good" gifted pool culture (especially how the gym teacher was convinced it had to be one of them that was sending him depressing poetry), but even though I kinda thought the students were individually amusing, I didn't have much personal attachment to any of them. I was also kinda surprised that even the "BRING DOWN ALL THINGS CAPITALIST" Communist of the group didn't think it was a little tame to take over a coffeeshop with expr ...more
Julie Decker
Leon's back for another round of goofiness with his friends from the gifted pool. There's a coffee shop they all like--called Sip--and it's the usual indie coffee shop, with readings and community involvement and not being run by Corporate Evil. And of course when Sip's business is threatened by Big Business in the form of Wackford's coffee shops, Leon and his allies decide to take it down (or at least make a point) through a demonstration. They may be able to save Sip if the right people listen ...more
Lots of tongue-in-cheek, middle-school geeky humor is written all over the pages of Pirates of the Retail Wasteland. Leon and his other gifted-pool classmates are challenged to create a monument that has neglectfully been previously denied. In their wacky, stick-it-to-the-man sort-of way, the pool creates an (implied) monument to the slowly dying, beloved coffee shop, Sip. The corporate, cookie-cutter, glossy Wackford's Coffee House is overtaking the town of Cornersville Trace...and they aren't ...more
Brandon Will
Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
This is book two of a wonderful planned series that didn't get to become a series. It didn't sell enough copies, I guess. Didn't seem deserving of the P.R. push due possibly to lack of lusty emo vamps and/or classless upper-class gals. (And it doesn't help that the cover art looks like clip art in a second grade Phonics workbook from 1992.)

Nope, all you'll find here is a group of friends in eigth grade having some hi-jinks, making some memories, and fumbling through defining the things that are
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Fabulous book that makes you laugh out loud! Author Adam Selzer ( really captures the mindset of 8th grade Leon, a gifted student planning a "pirate takeover" of the local chain coffee shop! At times very sarcastic and cynical, the book is extremely funny if you can relate to middle school angst sprinkled with occasional immaturity. The book feels fresh and contemporary. Unlike many YA books where parents are invisible or don't exist, Leon's parents are integral to the story - ...more
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, young-adult
I really enjoyed How to Get Suspended and Influence People, so I was looking forward to the sequel. Unfortunately, I came away feeling rather disappointed. How to Get Suspended had bite to it; the satire was razor sharp and the jokes were laugh-out-loud funny in places. Pirates, on the other hand, while still a pleasant light read, feels like just another run-of-the-mill teen comedy. Leon and his friends are still good characters, and they do have their moments in this book. However, neither the ...more
Oct 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine in your town, the local stores you have grown up with and love are being taken over by nation-wide fast food chain restaurants. That’s what Leon, the main character of Pirates of the Retail Wasteland, sees. In the book you’ll see how he battles the threat of his town’s take over while also battling his gym teacher, and admirer. What Leon has in his head will show you the steps through his crazy adventure.
What i like about this book is that it has a very big truth to it. Old places that m
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A group of highly intelligent middle school weirdos decide to take over a thinly disguised Starbucks and turn it into a business office that does not serve coffee in an attempt to save their favorite indie coffeehouse (Sips) from going out of business. If offered the opportunity, I'm almost positive my own weirdo students would do the same thing.

I'm not quite sure it's appropriate to a middle school audience (there's enough smoochy stuff that it makes me nervous), but it's absolutely hilarious.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, amer-culture, humor
Leon and the G&T clan take on the stripmallification of their small-town suburb. Selzer's voice is less big than other YA voices (Levithan, Green, Tashjian) though just as humorous and at times this seems like a less-powerful echo of Rob Thomas's Rats Saw God for a slightly newer YA crowd, but it's a pretty decent read and probably more enjoyable for actual teen guy readers. Traditional YA tropes about weird parents and useless/annoying teachers.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
While the plot wasn't terribly exciting it was cute. Selzer did a marvelous job of writing in such a way that as an adult it brought you back to the feelings the characters had. It drew you back to that awkward period of middle school or even high school when you're trying to find who you are and your crush seemed infinitely cooler than you and a glance could distract you for the rest of the day. I'd recommend if only for that reason.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, juvenile
Sequel to How to Get Suspended and Influence People, although since it's not clear, I read this one first. Fun, humourous, somewhat informative about the problems with new big box stores but mostly one sided. Not didactic as while the plot is about protesting the stores, the author leaves the reader to decide.
I thought this was disappointing. I loved How to Get Suspended and Influence People but this sequel seemed like a watered-down repeat to me. It wasn't as funny or as well-plotted, and I found myself not really caring about their project or Leon's romantic woes. The book seemed to just peter out at the end.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
group of gifted 8th graders set out to fight against the new chain stores running the small town stores out of business. good anti-consumer message and nice to see such smart kids. a few curse words, but pretty tame.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can really appreciate a book that has gym teacher-themed parodies of "Howl".
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
two words for the author and the book. thee best
Apr 03, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Released April 8, 2008
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, humor, novel, contemporary
The kind of book about smart-ass know it all teens that I would have loved as a smart-ass know it all teen. Fun humorous YA read.
Susan Mesler-Evans
rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2017
Alissa Bach
In How To Get Suspended and Influence People, author Adam Selzer tackled the issue of Censorship. This second installment of the Leon Harris saga deals with the evils of "The Man" and the problem of Big Bad Corporations choking out the Little Guy. You know, all those Mom & Pop small businesses that are just SO much more awesome than their soulless Big Box counterparts.

If only these kids were around when not one, but TWO retail coffee chains barged uninvited into my town and jointly ran my f
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Jun 23, 2010
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Mar 30, 2011
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Aug 03, 2011
Kevin Turner
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May 06, 2009
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Apr 16, 2010
Lisa K
rated it it was ok
Apr 10, 2012
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Jan 24, 2013
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Mar 04, 2012
Nicole Entin
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Jul 31, 2016
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Adam Selzer blocked Goodreads on his computer for years but now he's on here, so let him have it. His first book was HOW TO GET SUSPENDED AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (now available in a "Now With More Swearing") edition, his next one is PLAY ME BACKWARDS (for satanic young adults), and his best known is probably I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT, a Twilight satire that was not marketed as a satire.

He also
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