I read nearly every kid’s book when I was in grade school: The Cybil War, Superfudge, Mouse on a Motorcycle, all the Ramona books, etc, etc. There were two books in particular, though, that left a bad taste in my mouth. A real bad taste.
The first was How to Eat Fried Worms. I don’t remember all the specifics today, but I remember that the story centered on a bet between two grade schools kids about one eating a certain number of worms in a certain span of days. I also remember that the worms were prepared in various ways. One was deep-fried, but I can’t remember how the others were prepared. And I remember that at one point in the book, a worm is eaten raw in the final seconds before the bet is lost.
The second was Freckle Juice. In this one, a kid who wishes he has freckles is conned into buying a recipe from a classmate who swears it will give him some. The recipe calls for a repulsive mixture of all sorts of condiments and drinks. I can’t remember it exactly, but I remember it was too disgusting for me to drink. I also remember wondering why anybody would want freckles. I sure didn’t want mine.
I’m sure there were other bad taste books in the library during my grade school years. Gross out books were and probably still are popular with kids (if not with libraries; How To Eat Fried Worms has been banned from libraries several times through the past four decades). And even though I never really was into gross out humor and certain am not into it now, I still liked the bad taste these books gave me.