This is probably one of the best titles I’ve come across lately. The entire book is even funnier than the title suggests. Imagine, if you will, Family Guy‘s Stewie Griffin in middle school. That is the book’s main character in a nutshell. It’s awesome. I wish I had been more like this kid when I was in middle school. (To be perfectly honest, I wish I were more like this kid now. Not that I want to be an evil genius or anything, but the whole limitless power and always getting what you want thing definitely has its appeal right now.)
In Josh Lieb’s I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil, and I Want to Be Your Class President, we are introduced to Oliver Watson. At first, you might think he is a slightly idiotic seventh grade boy. (Do we know what redundant means, boys and girls?) Appearances, however, are deceiving. Oliver is an evil genius and the third-richest person in the entire world. He makes Lex Luthor look like an absolute amateur. In short, he’s pretty awesome, and he knows it (even though nobody else does because he has a figurehead who is the face of Oliver’s evil empire…It’s kind of hard for a seventh grader to be taken seriously as one of the most powerful people in the world). He thinks of people as tools for his amusement, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that things, including world events, horse races, and the lives of those around him, play out exactly as he wishes.
Let’s look for a moment at Oliver’s views on children. Keep in mind that Oliver is technically a child himself, but I think we can all agree that Oliver is definitely not the norm.
“When they are not laughing (too lound and for no reason), they are screaming (too loud and for no reason). And when they’re not doing either of those things, they’re whining (too loud and for no reason). I would say they’re like monkeys, but monkeys are cute.”
Frankly, I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Also, according to Oliver, anyone younger than eighteen is a child, so his view is especially true when you consider that.)
You may think that Oliver has it all. To some degree, you’d be right. But there is something missing. He has a somewhat strained relationship with his dad. It’s always been like this, and Oliver is making it a priority to make his dad (1) miserable and (2) proud of him. (Not that Oliver cares what a peon like his dad thinks…he just wants to rub something in his face.) Oliver gets his opportunity in the form of elections for eighth grade class president. He will stop at nothing to win…absolutely nothing. (He’s evil, for crying out loud! Of course, he’ll stop at nothing.) But how can he win a school election (i.e. popularity contest) when everyone around him believes he’s one of the most pathetic creatures to ever exist? I guess he’ll just have to bring out the big guns. I’ll leave it to you to decide if these “guns” are literal or figurative. Can his evil empire stay as is when all of Oliver’s focus is going into winning a school election? Will anyone ever discover that he’s an evil genius masquerading as a middle school moron? Read I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil, and I Want to Be Your Class President to find out.