How Myron gets a new bicycle and learns to cope with adults; The Great Burgerland Disaster, by Betty K. Levine. New York: Atheneum $8.95.
This is a very funny book. Myron Whitbread is more than your typical teen-ager. He is also a talented gourmet cook who had a small catering business until his bicycle was stolen. He needs money to get a new one but doesn't want to hassle either of his divorced parents for it. One thing leads to another, and before long Myron, the gourmet, is working at Burgerland, where customers are fed from "an endless conveyer belt of grayish mud patties."
Unable to stomach the food, he brings his own creations from home. When the boss finds out, he isn't angry. Instead, he asks Myron to come up with two "specials" for each day of the week. The specials quickly become so popular that a local newspaper chain's reviewer gives the place a two-star rating.
Then disaster strikes. The food editor of a New York newspaper has dinner there and mistakenly thinks the fast food decor is a put-on.After her rare review, busines booms --but only for a short time. The head office of the Burgerland chain is not at all delighted that one of its franchises has gone astray, and Burgerland is soon restrored to its rightful place in the fast-food kingdom.
In the end, things turn out all right for Myron -- who loses his job in the purge -- but not the way he expected. Demand for his catering services increases, bringing with it enough money for a new bicycle, and his family life takes a turn for the better. Told in the first person from Myron's standpoint, the narrative sparkles with wry humor. It is easy reading and fun. Myron, a composite of author Betty Levine's two sons, has some wonderfully perceptive insights about parents. He sees through his parent's efforts ot manipulate him as they compete for his affections. But he is also puzzled by them and decides there should be "a course at high school: Learning to Live With Adults."
The book offers an upbeat perspective on how teen-agers respond to the aftermath of a family breakup and particularly to their parent's feelings that they had nothing worth saving in the marriage. Myron seems to think that if kids have to put up with so much guff from their parents, surely the adults c ould put up with more from each other.