The Fourth Stall

Chris Rylander’s The Fourth Stall grabs the reader right from the beginning urging them to keep reading with its suspense and mystery.  It begins with an introduction about a sixth grader named Christian Barrett, but everybody calls him Mac, he runs a business and solves problems for a price from his office in a bathroom in the East Wing of his school.  One day everything changes, a third grader comes into his office asking for protection from the most menacing bully in town, Staples.  There are many different stories about what he has done to kids and how he has spies everywhere, Staples also gambles and pays sports players to play bad so that he can win bets that he makes.  Mac and his best friend Vince are also huge fans of the Chicago Cubs and this year, the Cubs are on a pace to a trip to the World Series, their first in seventy years, and Vince and Mac are saving up to go to that World Series game.  Both Mac and Vince face challenges in the next couple of weeks dealing with Staples’ threats, as this is occurring, Mac and Vince run into conflicts between each other, there is also a spy among them giving information to Staples so that he can eliminate Mac’s business.  Will Mac and Vince catch the spy, or will their business fall before them?

When I finished the book, I was thrilled with the ending and how it all turned out, and I had a total understanding of what had happened.  At the end of the book, there is a cliffhanger encouraging the reader to read The Fourth Stall Part II.  Author Chris Rylander made suspense out of the fact that he ended every chapter with a cliffhanger, whether is has a big or little cliffhanger, I still wanted to continue reading.  My favorite character in the book was Vince because he always had a one-liner that didn’t make any sense at all and was still funny, he also is the right-hand man to Mac, Vince is good with numbers and money.  The main theme of The Fourth Stall is that you should always expect the unexpected, no matter what and that you shouldn’t accuse people right away, this is what started the conflicts between Mac and Vince.  The social setting of the book is mainly a middle school where there is a person for basically every purpose, everybody feels that if they have a problem, Mac is the guy to go to.  There are also spies everywhere that all work for Staples and they are always on the lookout for anything that affects their business.   The Fourth Stall is a book that is for people who like suspense, action, mystery and revenge, and remember, always expect the unexpected.