The Annoyance Bureau by Lucy Frank

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"Is it my imagination,"
grumbles the odd old man
in the bookstore,
"or is the world
getting more and more

In the fifteen hours since Lucas Graham arrived in New York City, his own annoyance level has skyrocketed. For starters, he'd rather be spending his Christmas week at the beach with Mom instead of visiting Dad and Claire in the cold and slush. He'd rather not be sharing a bathroom with his critical stepsister, Phoebe, and her disapproving cat. He'd rather not be threatened with a haircut at Trims for Tykes by his little stepbrother's unspeakable baby-sitter, Gladys.

And he wishes the strange Santa in front of Book World had not slipped this beeping, buzzing device into his backpack for safekeeping, even if it does seem to have entertaining effects on cats and baby-sitters. And who are these strange, green-coated guys milling around, muttering into walkie-talkies -- guys only twelve-year-old Lucas and this Santa seem to see? Lucas overhears the words "annoyance removal," as if they're attuned to his innermost wishes. Something weird is going on. Weird, but irresistible.

Now this old man, Izzy Gribitz, is talking about bungling agents, secret passages, this mysterious remote control-like device, and something called the Annoyance Bureau. What does it all mean?

"That," says Izzy, "is for me to know and you to find out."


About Lucy Frank

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Lucy Frank is the author of five novels for young people: Just Ask Iris; Oy, Joy!; Will You Be My Brussels Sprout?; I Am an Artichoke; and The Annoyance Bureau. She and her family love living in New York City, to which she pays merry tribute in this book.
Published October 1, 2002 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books. 176 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Near the end, he does take a more active role, ultimately working out better relationships with his dad and, perhaps, even Phoebe, but what is more likely to engage readers are his rib-tickling encounters with distracted Bureau workers, as they scuttle about with bins of confiscated Tickle Me Elm...

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Publishers Weekly

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Even Lucas's connection to Izzy seems too tenuous to explain why Lucas would go out on a limb for Izzy when the agent gets fired.

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When a Santa in front of the Book World on Broadway gives Lucas a strange electronic device resembling a walkie-talkie, his life starts to get interesting.

Oct 01 2002 | Read Full Review of The Annoyance Bureau

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