Cyrus and Rudy, 9 and 8 respectively, are faced with the nightmare scenario: their family is moving to a new house.
The brothers are best friends who enjoy amusing themselves with potato-gun battles and Legos and sitting up high on closet shelves and windowsills. Rudy is prone to panic attacks. Cyrus, the book’s insightful narrator, seems a calmer sort until he learns of the pending move. He’s lived in that house since he was adopted at the age of 2 months. Moving is just too scary. So he hatches an age-appropriate plot: get up in the middle of the night and remove the “For Sale” sign—and the one that replaces it—and the several that replace that one. From the intriguing opening sentence (“Ancient potatoes lurk in our bedroom closets”) to the feel-good conclusion, this very brief effort appealingly captures a small slice of very funny family life. In between are tolerant, loving parents, an admirable relationship between brothers, a bizarre but humorous cat, numerous rib-tickling, full-page illustrations, and some quirky problem-solving. Perhaps the only downside is that young readers are going to be trying to figure out how to build potato-guns—they look like water pistols but shoot spud chunks—of their own.
A warmhearted romp that might even work for older reluctant readers. (Fiction. 6-10)