I've seen several rave reviews about Daniel Pinkwater, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Well.
Leonard Neeble is a small, fat (sorry, portly), glasses-wearing boy at Bat Masterson Junior High, where all the other students are tall, athletic, bronzed, and dumb. He has a dull time of it before Alan Mendelsohn, another misfit, arrives. Then things start getting weird. They discover Samuel Klugarsh's strange shop, and he sells them a mind control device, which works (much to Klugarsh's surprise), and then a set of instructions for finding lost worlds, and they discover how to transport to other dimensions (which they also find isn't as exciting as it might have been).
This is told in a lovely deadpan manner. Things get weirder and weirder (although there's enough weirdness in the background right from the start), and at each step it seems possible that the kids are being conned, or imagining things, or making it all up, but by the end, it's clear(?) that everything is happening as told. If you enjoy weird, and the little kid making good, you'll enjoy this.
Mind candy -- almost literally.
Norman Bleistift and his boss Steve are kidnapped by the Spiegelian junk food pirates to take part in a three way cook off, to discover the best junk food chef in the universe. Makes you want to never see another candy bar or burger in your life.