This is a book aimed squarely at the 8-12 year old boy niche. Part gross and disgusting, part humour, part revenge of the loser; it hits the mark. Charley Maplewood is turning 10. Thanks to a inappropriately timed birthday greeting, he decides it really is time for him to have a birthday party. The complication is he has no friends. It’s a shame the publisher didn’t see fit to add some drawings, a la Judy Blume’s Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing or Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I believe pictures by someone like Quentin Blake would take this book from very good to terrific. Still it’s an engaging read worth adding to a K-8 collection.
Rating #1 (Highly Recommended) #2 ✓#3 #4 (Not acceptable)
Interest Level: grades 3+ Reading Level: 5
Curriculum Area: Language Arts
Themes/Topics: growing up, friendship, fitting in, family