Have I mentioned yet that my second girlie is now in the genre report third grade class? And while we have definitely benefited from her older sister’s experience, girlie #2 could not get into the sci-fi title that girlie #1 read. Which means that I’ve been brainstorming and looking around online, and my friend Britt has been brainstorming and looking around online, and I now have three books out of the library that had potential but weren’t 300-400 pages long (because that’s not going to happen with any book that isn’t my girlie’s own idea). I skimmed Cakes in Space on the treadmill and then handed it off to #2, who thought it could be fun. (It was HILARIOUS.) Last night I read Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist #1), and while it’s too easy for her to do a report on (I’m a mean mom that way), it merited its own review, because it was thoroughly (if bizarrely!) entertaining. While set up as a chapter book, it’s heavily illustrated with impressively sized font; it’s not going to intimidate a new or struggling reader the way many 100-page books might. And both Franny and the series of books she stars in have quite their own style, one fairly evenly split between creepy and wildly amusing. Rather than risk spoilers, I will simply recommend this wholeheartedly to lower elementary school readers, because it’s engaging and incredibly entertaining and says some important things about friendship besides.
Oh, and I’ll leave you with a sample passage. This would be right after Franny’s teacher gets abducted by a monster…
The kids just stood there. They didn’t know how to help. A few tried crying. A few tried screaming. One tried wetting his pants,
although later on he admitted he had no idea why he thought that might help.
Some of Franny’s new friends hugged her and shrieked, but Franny didn’t shriek.