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“You cannot help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.” More
Summary: Babette gets great grades and is loved by all; Freddy is always trying to intercept the report cards before Mom and Dad see them, and his teachers always want him to be more like Babette. When Freddy got sent to bed for changing his sister's grades from A to D+ some thing was waiting for him ... actually all of them. Speeding ahead at 62-million-light-year speed, the family lands on Flurb and Freddy is named King. So how is it that a self-proclaimed Loser is king? and how will he fend off all of his enemies -new and old? This is the first in a transitional chapter book for elementary readers.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself:
Interest Level: 7 to 10
Reading Level: 4.5
Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: We heard lots of laughter as our daughter went along with this one. At first she tried to pronounce all the various character names and sounds, but eventually gave up and "skipped them."
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a pretty stereotypical book. Kids who like books with lots of action, some potty humor, and sister-gets-her-come-up-ance tales will like this (think Big Nate, but not as good).
Pros: Plenty of visual humor, short chapters, and tons of action are the foundation of this average-guy-becomes-hero story.
Cons: The plot is old hat. I was disappointed that there wasn't more "original" elements to the story.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is one the kids will read and move on, either to the next book in the series or another like it.
Educational Themes: This is really a story to get and keep kids reading. It would be a stretch to draw any educational elements from it.
Notes: The publisher donated an advance review copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, space travel, family, humor
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2011
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.