A cockroach wakes up one morning and discovers that he has turned into a boy
Shoebag likes his life as a cockroach. Like the others in his “tribe,” he was named for the place of his birth—in his case, a white summer sandal. He enjoys living in a Boston apartment building with his parents, Drainboard and Under The Toaster, although they’ve lost countless relatives to jumping spiders, water bugs, beetles, and the deadly fumes of the dreaded exterminator. So when Shoebag discovers that he’s been transformed into a person, he’s horrified. But the worst is yet to come.
Shoebag is adopted by the Biddle family and renamed Stu Bagg. Mr. Biddle enrolls him in Beacon Hill Elementary School, and every night for one hour before bedtime, he watches television with Eunice “Pretty Soft” Biddle, his new seven-year-old sister, who loves the color pink and is the star of toilet paper commercials. At school, Shoebag tries to fit in as a human, while back home he tries to protect his insect family from spiders, cats, and the Zapman.
Then Shoebag discovers a secret formula that could change him back into a roach. All he has to do is choose.
This ebook features an illustrated personal history of M. E. Kerr including rare images from the author’s collection.
“In a nifty twist on Kafka, a la Metamorphosis, this ‘popular young-adult author’ asks readers to imagine the revulsion a cockroach might feel at having been suddenly transmuted into a boy. . . . Unusual (to say the least), amusing, engaging, and gripping, Shoebag has its lessons carefully hidden in its rather unique plot, and will surely leave its readers surreptitiously cancelling parental appointments with the exterminator and carefully hiding tidbits in inconspicuous corners for the benefit of Shoebag’s extended clan. A romp.” —School Library Journal
“A delightful fantasy about a cockroach who suddenly turns into a boy, leading to a clever reversal of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and an amusing satirical view of human foibles. . . . A highly original story crammed with clever detail, action, insight, and humor, all combined with impeccable logic and begging to be shared—with class, family, or any available audience.” —Kirkus Reviews
M. E. Kerr was born Marijane Meaker in Auburn, New York. Her interest in writing began with her father, who loved to read, and her mother, who loved to tell stories of neighborhood gossip. Unable to find an agent to represent her work, Meaker became her own agent, and wrote articles and books under a series of pseudonyms: Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich, Laura Winston, M. E. Kerr, and Mary James. As M. E. Kerr, Meaker has produced over twenty novels for young adults and won multiple awards, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her lifetime contribution to young adult literature.