THE FIREBUG OF BALROG COUNTY
By David Oppegaard. (Flux, 312 pages, $11.99, grades nine and up.)
Mack Druneswald, 18-year-old slacker and possibly the most affable arsonist in literary history, has a firebug in his chest: Since his mother’s recent death, roving through the night setting fires has become less a hobby than a compulsion — which, Mack would be the first to admit, is less than ideal. More ideal: his unexpected relationship with an impossibly cool college girl who has her own set of issues to deal with. This darkly comic coming-of-age story with tremendously likable characters also packs a serious emotional punch.
Oppegaard will read at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at Bad Weather Brewing, 414 W. 7th St., St. Paul.
(Here’s the link to the Star Tribune page)