You need something?

I can get it for you.

You have a problem?

I can solve it.

That’s why they come to me.  By they, I mean every kid in the school.  First graders up to eighth graders.  Everyone comes to me for help, and most of the time I’m happy to provide it.  For a small fee of course.

My office is located in the East Wing boys’ bathroom, fourth stall from the high window.  My office hours are during early recess, lunch, and afternoon recess.

Sometimes I do pro bono work.  I don’t know why free is called pro bono, but it is.  If your situation seems important enough I just may offer my services without the usual fees of money or favors.  But that doesn’t happen too often.  And when it does, it’s usually because Vince asks me to.

Vincent is my best friend and right-hand man.  He’s a good guy; in addition to being awesome with numbers he’s also the most book-smart kid I know, and the best business manager a guy could have.  I know you shouldn’t mix your business and personal life, but we ran a tight operation and had been friends since kindergarten.

We’d started this business together and although I might be the guy everyone comes to, it’s just as much Vince’s business as it is mine.  So when he gives me one of those looks that only I know, that says, Hey, Mac, you should cut this kid a break and do this one pro bono, I listen to him.  There are times that I trust his judgment more than my own, especially when it comes to money issues.

My real name is Christian Barrett, but everyone calls me Mac.  Mac is short for MacGyver.  This eighth grader, Billy Benson, called me that once, and it stuck.  Now it’s just Mac for short, because people are lazy.

Right now you might be wondering how a little, blue-eyed sixth grader with shaggy dark brown hair could end up with a business like this?  And I don’t blame you, I hardly believe it myself sometimes.  It’s actually a pretty long story that’s probably best left for later.  So for now let’s just say it involves an old trailer park playground, a vampire, and one angry fourth grader and we’ll leave it at that.

Excerpt © 2011 Chris Rylander


About the book:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets “The Sopranos.”

What people are saying:

“Here is an original – a story that really gets how guys are pals. It’s also a story about sixth grade wiseguys that is funny, mysterious, and true to the heart of what really matters when you are in middle school. Do yourself a favor. Read it. Now.”–Jon Scieszka (National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and NYT Best-Selling author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales)

“Debut novelist Rylander mines a substantial amount of humor and heart from this combination hard-boiled crime novel and middle-grade character piece.”–Publishers Weekly

Released: February 8, 2011

About the author:

This is Chris Rylander’s first book for children. A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, he lives in Fargo, North Dakota. You can visit him at www.chrisrylander.com.