Funny kid’s far from LOL-funny…but he’ll elicit some giggles.



From the Funny Kid series , Vol. 1

Run for class president? Now that’s a funny idea.

Eleven-year-old Max Walburt is not the most popular kid at Redhill Middle School, but he is Mr. Armstrong’s favorite person to blame when things go wrong. When a dollop of poop appears in the class storeroom and an incensed Mr. Armstrong blames Max without evidence, Max plots revenge with his fat, dim buddy, Hugo. The plot’s exposed by too-short (and very evil) Abby Purcell, and the ensuing chaos causes principal Mrs. Sniggles to order a class election. Max throws his hat in the ring, but something’s up. Handsome (and lactose-intolerant) opponent Kevin experiences a vomit event in the library, and he’s out. Tall Ryan has a disastrous gym class, and he’s out. Can Max, using his sense of humor, join with unlikely allies and discover what’s going on (while escaping a psycho-stalker duck)? Stanton kicks off a series of illustrated misadventures with a more-than-slightly scatological mystery. The kids are not a lot more than their central quirks, but the straightforward if mean-spirited story does have moments of good comic timing. The poop-centered mystery won’t be to everyone’s taste, but Wimpy Kid fans may seek the sequel. Max, Hugo, and the teachers are white; Kevin and Abby have brown skin, and Ryan may be Asian.

Funny kid’s far from LOL-funny…but he’ll elicit some giggles. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-257291-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Trisha is ready to start at a new school, where no one will know she has dyslexia. At first, she is heartbroken to be in Miss Peterson’s special-ed class, aka, “the junkyard.” But Miss Peterson treats the children as anything but junk, showing them that everyone has a unique talent. Polacco’s trademark style is fully present here; her sensitively drawn alter ego shines with depth of feeling. When bullying occurs, Miss Peterson proves her students are worthwhile by planning a junkyard field trip, where they find valuable objects to be used in exciting ways. Trisha’s group repairs a plane, and the class buys an engine for it. Then a beloved class member dies, and the children must find a way to honor him. While the plot meanders somewhat, the characters are appealing, believable and provide a fine portrayal of a truly special class. Children will be drawn in by the story’s warmth and gentle humor and will leave with a spark of inspiration, an appreciation of individual differences and a firm anti-bullying message, all underscored by the author’s note that concludes the book. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25078-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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When Bibi, her first and favorite babysitter, moves away, it takes all of August for 8-year-old Eleanor to get beyond her sense of loss and get used to a new caretaker. Her parents grieve, too; her mother even takes some time off work. But, as is inevitable in a two-income family, eventually a new sitter appears. Natalie is sensible and understanding. They find new activities to do together, including setting up a lemonade stand outside Eleanor’s Brooklyn apartment building, waiting for Val, the mail carrier, and taking pictures of flowers with Natalie’s camera. Gradually Eleanor adjusts, September comes, her new teacher writes a welcoming letter, her best friend returns from summer vacation and third grade starts smoothly. Best of all, Val brings a loving letter from Bibi in Florida. While the story is relatively lengthy, each chapter is a self-contained episode, written simply and presented in short lines, accessible to those still struggling with the printed word. Cordell’s gray-scale line drawings reflect the action and help break up the text on almost every page. This first novel is a promising debut. Eleanor’s concerns, not only about her babysitter, but also about playmates, friends and a new school year will be familiar to readers, who will look forward to hearing more about her life. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8109-8424-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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