Paulsen, Gary Family Ties, 136 pgs. Random House Children’s Books, 2014. $12.99. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.
In an effort to impress his new girlfriend with his commitment to his family, Kevin invites his rogue Uncle Will over to try to mend feelings with Kevin’s dad. Instead, he shows up with a new wife, a huge dog (with incontinence problems) and a 4 year old stepson with an active interest in setting fires. When Kevin suggests they use this opportunity to hold a family wedding (or two), and grandma Lucille shows up as well, this family event is officially out of control. Can Kevin put together a wedding, manage a household of people and complete his social studies team project without passing out from lack of sleep in just one week?
This companion to Liar Liar, Flat Broke and others can be read at any point in the series. It’s a slapstick comedy of errors from beginning to end. Paulsen knows just how to catch the kids and keep them hooked. A bit too outlandish for my taste, this is a sure-fire hit for the middle school kids. You should have the whole series.
EL, MS - ADVISABLE