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Out of Patience

Brian Meehl

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Published : 2006

Copyright : Brian Meehl 2006

ISBN-10 : HB 0-38573-299-6
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-38573-299-4

Publisher's Write-Up

Some folks have skeletons in their closets. The Waters have toilets. Jake’s mortified by his dad’s dream to open the American Toilet Museum. Toilets have caused enough turmoil in Patience, Kansas. Patience has been cursed for 129 years, since Jeremiah Waters installed the first flush toilet. The Dolphin Deluge Wash-Down Water Closet caused a stink, and since then Patience has been drying up like a cow pie in August. Jake wants out of Patience, especially when his dad gets a relic for his museum, triggering the curse’s last promise: “The day the Plunger of Destiny returns to Patience, the final destruction begins!” Can Jake save Patience by discovering what happened when Jeremiah last sat on the Dolphin Deluge Wash-Down Water Closet?

Brian Meehl was a Muppeteer on Sesame Street and has written many children’s television shows. This is his first novel. He lives in Redding, Connecticut.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (240607) Rating (9/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Rating 9/10
The narrative opens with twelve-year-old baseball player Jake Waters’ getting beaned with a toilet plunger. That plunger was followed by another, and another. Jake’s stepmother Wanda has had it with Jake’s dad and his obsession with all things toilet. She is leaving; it was Wanda who for good measure heaved the plungers and a heavy wooden toilet seat from the second story window. From that beginning we follow Jake on his quest to leave the little Kansas town Patience. Patience was founded long ago by Jake’s g-g-g- grandfather Jeremiah. Jake’s plumber dad Jim is determined to open the first ATM – (The) American Toilet Museum and put dying Patience back on the map.

From that beginning we follow Jake in his quest to be the first male Waters’ to escape tiny Patience, Kansas. Buried treasure, cow pies, the nearby manure plant – fertilizer plant, thunderstorms, antique commodes, more toilet plungers, impassioned discussions between neighbors, as well as tornadoes, 8 player workup baseball, the seventh inning stench, toilet, sanitary plumbing, memorabilia collected over the years and the PLUNGER OF DESTINY, the Sceptre of Satan, all figure in the tale.

According to local legend the town is cursed: the final destruction of Patience will take place when the Plunger of Destiny is brought back to the town. Jake is horrified to learn that his father has actually ordered the thing from eBay. Jake knows he must stay on his toes – for any signs that he curse is taking place. He doesn’t find a curse, but he does find a real live thief and a situation to cause the EPA shudders.

I enjoyed the subplot threaded through the narrative as Jakes’s ancestor brings the first flush toilet to the town. Outhouses, progression of mechanical equipment, social mores, false notion concerning toilets in general are all intertwined.

Jake’s friend Sira, a girl born in Pakistan is fun to read. She loves trivia and is busy memorizing facts, speak a number and she immediately has a fact to go with that year, 1868, 1908, 1932, Sira has something for each one.
Writer Meehl has taken a not oft used subject: toilets and their history, and has woven a fast paced, easily read tale filled with tension, absurdity, an adequate amount of crass situations and events to satisfy the target audience of middle grade readers. Notions of camaraderie, accountability and family trace through the plot without appearing as preachy or overpowering.

A mischievous narrative voice combined with well fleshed settings, convincing characters and keen-witted dialogue move the reader quickly from the opening raining plungers scene to the last page where we find the town recovering from the First Annual Curse of Cass Festival held the day before. All in all Writer Meehl has crafted a fun read sure to appeal to the target audience.

Out of Patience is a must read for the middle grade reader, will be a good addition to the personal reading shelf. Not for everyone, some parents and librarians may be put off by an abundance of manure/toilet humour.

Enjoyed the read; I was the Hobby and Collectibles superintendent for the Kern County Fair, Bakersfield, California for many years, and know full well that for every gizmo, tool or whatsit ever devised there IS a collector who believes it wonderful. I have no doubt that somewhere there is a person collecting toilet memorabilia as we speak. Happy to recommend.
Molly Martin (24th June 2007)

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