Picks and Pans Review: Huge

updated 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

James W. Fuerst |

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Fuerst's debut is a hugely entertaining novel about aspiring private eye Eugene "Huge" Smalls, the smallest, smartest kid in his sixth-grade class. When his grandma retains his services to discover who painted a slur on her retirement home's sign, Huge plunges into a web of junior-high deceit, quoting Thoreau and swearing a blue streak as he investigates the jocks, stoners and wastrels of his New Jersey town. Juxtaposing Huge's preteen angst with his passion for detective work, Fuerst has created a winning protagonist (who needs to have his mouth washed out with soap).

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