Adele Ashby was the former editor of Canadian Materials for Schools and Libraries.
The motto of Sceletown, whose streets are laid out like a skeleton so its citizens can learn anatomy, is “Our greatest resource is innovation.” Its Yellow Pages list “847 independent inventors and one farm implements dealer,” and its students must come up with a completely original idea in order to graduate from junior high. Jon Anastasiou’s crazy idea had made him the bestselling author of space comics, and he had graduated; but his sister Christine was still trying to find a nutty but workable idea. Then one day Christine watched the demolition of an old hotel and the Do-It-Yourself Demolition was born. Participants paid to take out their frustrations on mortar and brick, and the spectators paid 25 cents to watch. It was, as they say, a smashing idea, until the local demolition company president decided Christine was ruining his business and success began to interfere with Christine’s better judgement.
In the end, it all worked out, and Grandpa Anastasiou even found a bride and got a honeymoon supplied by the Do-It-Yourself Demolition.
Ken Roberts is a librarian, storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and juggler and he tells a wonderful story. Crazy Ideas is Gordon Korman for a younger audience. It’s fun, it’s zany, and, best of all, it’s Canadian!