THE BUTLER GETS A BREAK by Kristin Clark Venuti


A Bellweather Tale
Age Range: 9 - 13
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Introduced in Leaving the Bellweathers (2009), the comically dysfunctional family is back for another outing. Benway the butler, after breaking his leg in an unfortunate accident precipitated by over-the-top ten-year-old triplets Sassy, Brick and Spike, is confined to the hospital, while Spider, 15, tries to round up the violent, endangered squirrels he inadvertently set loose on Eel-by-the-Bay, do-gooder Ninda, 14, works to aid a large group of displaced immigrants and the Bellweather parents relentlessly pursue their own interests (wall painting and inventing). All the Bellweathers recognize that they can barely get by without their staid and trusty butler, but poor Benway rarely gets the opportunity to see this, as the family blunderingly protects him from their growing, often silly, desperation. Though character development plays second fiddle to plot, return readers have gotten to know the protagonists well enough to anticipate their personal foibles. As in the first effort, the situations don’t always live up to their full potential for hilarity but will, at times, leave readers amused. (Farce. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60684-087-0
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Egmont USA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010