Publisher's Note:  

Guy Langman can't be bothered with much. But when his friend Anoop wants Guy to join the forensics club with him in the (possibly misguided) hopes of impressing some girls, Guy thinks why not.

They certainly aren't expecting to find a real dead body on the simulated crime scene they're assigned to collect evidence from. But after some girlish, undignified screaming, the two realize it is indeed a body. Which means they have stumbled across a real, dead murder victim.

Meanwhile, Guy has been looking into the past of his father—a larger-than-life character who recently passed away. He was much older than Guy's mom, and had a whole past Guy never even knew about. Could his father's past and the dead body be linked? Does Guy want to know? He's going to need all his newfound forensics skills to find out . . .

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator

by Josh Berk

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Overall Review:  

While the mystery runs in the background, issues of friendship, family, love, and dealing with tragedy are at the forefront of this witty, sweet story. Josh Berk uses humor and profound insight to show us that even though boys might appear to be tough and emotionless on the outside, there's a lot going on in there--especially for teens who have experienced loss or other confusing life issues. 


The solving of the mystery keeps the story moving along while we delve into some pretty intense emotional stuff with Guy. It's charming to see his family and friends give him the support he needs while not being too sappy or unrealistic. The intensity of emotions is tempered with comic relief and slow, subtle self-analysis. I'm guessing a teenaged boy could read this book and learn some things about himself without ever realizing it. He might also come away interested in forensic science--I did!


Reviewer's Comment: Don't let the content review scare you away. There is language, to be sure, but most of it is at the mildest end of each category. This is a book about teenaged boys, and it's realistic in terms of what boys think and talk about, but on the whole it's very light-handed--just enough to be realistic and show immaturity without being totally obscene. The same goes for the sex and nudity category--a lot of things are mentioned but never discussed in detail. It's real without being too real. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 8 religious exclamations; 42 mild obscenities; 7 religious profanities; 26 derogatory names; 34 scatological words; 55 anatomical terms; 1 hand gesture; 1 f-word derivative.


Violence/Gore: Two characters scuffle without injury; a character is found to have committed suicide with limited description of the body.


Sex/Nudity: Students watch a nature movie at school featuring naked tribal people; a character dresses and acts provocatively; a character is sexually aroused; characters briefly mention masturbation; characters talk about kissing; characters refer to venereal disease; characters make jokes about sex, semen, and body parts; a character thinks and dreams about sex; a character discusses sexual symbolism in dreams; characters refer to pornography; two characters hold hands and kiss briefly; characters joke about homosexuality; a characters talks about a "sugar daddy," sexual innuendo.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Depression, death of a family member, homosexuality, illegal computer activity, robbery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character briefly mentions previous drug use; the drug trade is discussed.

Reviewed By Leslie
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