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I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want To Be Your Class President, by Josh Lieb

May 2, 2010

geniusJosh Lieb, the author of I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, is an Emmy-winning executive producer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He has also worked on such shows as “The Simpsons” and “News Radio.”  You would expect if he wrote a book it would be hilarious and funny, which is exactly what he has done with his first novel, I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President.

This novel is about a boy named Oliver Watson who is in seventh grade and is obese.  His best-kept secret is that he actually is a genius of unspeakable evil who wants utter world domination.  Oliver’s dad, a.k.a Daddy, who hates that name, has never seemed to like Oliver.  For example, when Oliver was a baby, Daddy said to a friend, “And his forehead is huge.  Plus, his nose is almost nonexistent—just a flat spot in the middle of his face.”  On the day when news gets around the dinner table that Oliver has been nominated for class president, but turned it down, Daddy gives no impression of being proud or happy.  So Oliver uses blackmail, force, and lies to prove to his dad that he can win the class presidency and wipe that frown right off Daddy’s face.

The title is true because under all of Oliver’s fat and playing dumb is a secret empire, built right under his bedroom, where he rules the world, conducts experiments, sends his teacher Mr. Moorhead mysterious notes, blackmails, and buys and sells companies and stocks.  In school, he has a hidden built-in movie theater in a private bathroom stall, his own den with a butler concealed behind a set of lockers, video cameras all over the school, and a water fountain that, if pressed it in a certain, secret spot, provides root beer and chocolate milk.

I rated this book a ten because, number one.  I loved the humor.  It was great because Oliver doesn’t really tell jokes; he tells the truth, in hilarious ways.  For example, here’s a quote from the book: “Mr. Moorhead considers himself a cool teacher.  That means he still wears the clothes he wore in college. Unfortunately for Moorhead, college was ten years and twenty pounds ago.”

I also loved all the supporting characters because of their fears, their mistakes, or just being themselves.  Sheldrake, one of Oliver’s minions, is funny because he is always saying stuff that counters what Oliver wants.  When Oliver issues his latest demand, Sheldrake replies with “I’m not so sure about that” or “I don’t think we should do this.”

I thought the story was almost believable in some parts, but then I thought there is no way it could really happen—back and forth throughout the book.  I think the theme is that everybody needs love, even if he is a genius of unspeakable evil.  This novel is for anyone, fifth grade to eighth grade, boys or girls, who likes funny books.


Read more about this title at Amazon.com

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