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Made You Look: 02/12/21
Made You Look by Diane Roberts is a middle grade novel about a road trip to California. Originally it's supposed to be a flight but then Jason's parents decide instead to use a camper shell that's been not so fondly nicknamed the sardine can by previous owners.
Jason and his best friend are fans of a trivia game show called Masquerade Mania! It reads like it's been cobbled together from The Price is Right, Let's Make a Deal, and a Nickelodeon game show. The boys' goal is to get onto the show and of course win.
Having their plans thwarted by parents trying to save some money and have some quality time along the way results in pages and pages of winging. Made You Look isn't unique in this plot. It was a fairly standard plot in road trip stories involving kids from the 1980s. I honestly had to double check the publication date for this book because it feels fifteen to twenty years out of date for when it was published. That said, the original Ben-10 cartoon (2005), a contemporary with this novel.
Made You Look, though, doesn't have an extra-terrestrial / superhero plot hook to keep the whiny kids on a road trip story interesting. There is just a lot of complaining peppered with an endless stream of trivia practicing.
I read this book for the road narrative spectrum project. No surprise, it qualifies. Also no surprise, it sits in the bottom rung: privileged travelers going to the big city via an interstate highway (000000).