The Worst Class Trip Ever: Book Review

May 17th, 2015 by

Some facts about the first time I looked at The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry:

  • I am (to the public, at least) an adult woman. A refined lady with proper manners, if you will.
  • I was at dinner in a restaurant. Other people were around. Everyone was eating.
  • I was with two other people, also grown-up ladies. They handed me the book. Here is the conversation that followed:

The Worst Class Trip Ever_Dave BarryThem: “What… do you think the thing at the top left is?”

Me: (Looks at the book cover. Thinks: Is that… a butt? A flying butt? Look up at them. They are looking at me as if I have the answer to the meaning of life.)

Them: “Well?”

Me: “Is it…” (Seriously, I don’t want to them to think I’m a weirdo, but…) “Is it… a BUTT? A butt kite?”

Them: “YES!” (Relieved laughter all around).

What followed was a not long, but not short either, conversation about whether or not the butt kite should be even bigger on the cover, and how awesomely hilarious this book with a butt kite on the cover is.

Spoiler alert: The butt kite makes only a very brief but key appearance in the book. I just wanted to mention “butt kite” as much as possible in this book review.

So… where was I? Right. It’s awesomely hilarious!

Eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer is on a class trip to Washington, D.C. It all seems pretty normal: His class is accompanied by two teachers, a few parent chaperones, and the students are supposed to be on their best behavior as “ambassadors representing Culver Middle School.” In other words: Don’t get in trouble or you’ll be sent home in disgrace.

On the flight to D.C., Wyatt is seated on the plane next to his best friend, Matt, and the class farter, Cameron, thinking of ways to talk to his mega-crush, Suzana. But then he and Matt notice two men with a mysterious bag, looking at suspicious photos of the White House. What follows is a madcap class trip involving:

  • Missiles and terrorist plots.
  • Vomit and disgusting food (but not necessarily related).
  • Subterfuge against teachers.
  • Being in cahoots with mega-crushes.
  • Kidnapping!
  • Kidnapping Rescue Attempts!!!
  • Attacking the President of the United States.
  • Avoiding being sent home, which would definitely lead to Wyatt being killed by his mom.

If you’re in the mood for a laugh-out-loud page turner, I recommend you go on The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry. It’ll be worth it. And if you’ve read it… leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

— Nancy

icon_nancyButt kite.


So glorious:



Peter, Peter, in the Theater

March 18th, 2011 by

Last weekend, I was transported through a starry sky to the faraway shores of Never Land… No, not literally, of course! But I DID attend a talk at the New York Public Library about two stage shows based on the Peter Pan story.

Peter Play #1: Peter and the Starcatcher

Based on: The book Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

The guests of honor: Rick Elice (who wrote the play) and Ridley Pearson (who wrote the original book)





Peter Play #2: Peter and Wendy

Based on: The book Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie (now published as Peter Pan)

The guests of honor: Julie Archer and Liza Lorwin (co-creators of the play)




I haven’t seen either of these shows, but after learning all about them at this event, you can bet I’ll be booking my seats soon!

Here are some of the behind-the-scenes factoids I found out:

Peter and the Starcatcher

Image from NY1's review of the show

For the show, they made “Starcatcher” singular even though the book title says “Starcatchers” plural. Why? Because the focus is on Molly as THE most important Starcatcher, and her friendship with Peter. Rick Elice (the playwright) also called Molly the true heroine of the story and said, “The boy learns to be a hero by watching the girl.” This being Women’s History Month, I pumped my fist in solidarity when I heard that! Not really… But I did it in my mind!

In the show, they also completely took out the explanation of why Peter will stay young forever. If you’ve read the book, then you know that’s a pretty big deal. But apparently, the end of the show works without it. This I gotta see…

Speaking of differences between the book and the show, it sounds like there are LOTS — and yet, author Ridley Pearson loves it! Here’s what he had to say about how his original book was adapted for the stage:

Peter and Wendy

Whereas Peter and the Starcatcher is quite different from the book, there's one area where Peter and Wendy wanted to be very accurate: the costumes! J.M. Barrie wrote the original story for a family of boys he knew, and they all used to dress up as the characters and play around the house. Apparently, the folks behind Peter and Wendy studied photos of the boys and based the show's costumes on what the boys were wearing!

Speaking of the look of the play, originally the set designers wanted to make the backgrounds seem like they were from a giant pop-up book. They changed their concept as they went along, but the two co-creators at this event reported that they still see the pop-ups when they watch the show. Watch the trailer and see if you agree:

Intrigued? Well, if you live in New York, then you can get yourself a ticket to visit Never Land! Peter and the Starcatcher is playing at the New York Theatre Workshop now, and Peter and Wendy is coming to The New Victory Theater in May.

If you don't live in NY, never fear — supposedly, there's a movie version of Peter and the Starcatchers in the works. According to online reports, it's been in progress for a loooooooong time and may not come out for years, but that's okay, right? Like Peter, we'll just never grow up! 🙂

— Karen

Karen doesn't need magic to stay young forever. She still acts like a kid!

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