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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Poop is a children’s contemporary fiction novel written by A.J. Cosmo. Liam Anderson-Jones is a fourth-grader who’s a transferee to a new school. Elmwood is not in as good a neighborhood as his last school, but his mom is insistent that their relocation is just a temporary thing. Liam is not so sure about that. What he is sure about is that food and he just don’t get along -- and in the worst, most embarrassing ways. His stomach gives him no warning when it’s about to erupt, and he’s destroyed untold bathrooms. On his first day at Elmwood, his stomach went crazy while he was introducing himself to Mr. Almond’s class. He tried to hold it off as long as possible, but soon ended up dashing madly to the nearest bathroom. Liam didn’t realize until he heard a girl’s devastatingly loud shriek that it was the girls' bathroom, and her exclamation about the pungency of his bowel movements made for laughs throughout the school. One girl in class, Madeleine, seemed to be befriending him, though he didn’t really understand why, and Mr. Almond also appeared to be somewhat approachable. But life for Liam is anything but easy, and he just can’t figure out the why of it.
A.J. Cosmo’s contemporary fiction novel for children, Poop, is dedicated to all who suffer from food issues; people who turn down food in fear that it might hurt them. As a fellow sufferer, I was intrigued by Cosmo’s story and couldn’t resist giving it a try. Liam’s plight is a desperate one indeed. Humiliations are heaped upon humiliations, and I could almost get his willingness to undergo an uncomfortable medical procedure to get to the root of the problem. Poop is funny and serious all at once, and yes, it’s filled with bathroom jokes, smells, and detailed descriptions of poo. It’s also peopled with grand characters: the unruly and tormented bully, Mica; the very wise Madeleine; Mr. Almond who gives Liam the support he so badly needs; the dour Ms Primm; and the mischievous pile of poop that is actually a good conversationalist. Poop is a feel-good story that shows kids, and adults, that there is redemption even when things look too incredibly embarrassing to ever show one’s face again. And it does so in a story that maintained my interest and enthusiasm throughout. Poop is most highly recommended.