Hirsch, Andy Varmints 213 pgs. First Second, 2016. $16.99 Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG (Drinking, Gambling) Violence: PG (Lots of Western Style Gun Violence) GRAPHIC NOVEL
This book is the adventures of orphaned siblings, Opie and Ned as they travel the Wild West seeking justice for their mom’s death. Everywhere they go they cause mischief that rolls into disaster, mostly because of precocious Ned. They burn down a saloon, crash a train, and much more. Meanwhile they bicker and joke and stick together.
This was an action packed and slapdash adventure with many chapters filled with antics and well crafted characters. That being said, I thought it was really boring and irritatingly busy. Would a young reader like it? I bet they would, but their parents may not care for the drinking, bar brawling, suggestive women, tons of gun violence, and that it is fun and funny to burn down buildings. You may be thinking I sound paranoid and that is 100% true, parents can cause no end of drama in a school library situation, some books are worth standing up for and some just aren't. Middle school readers would find the characters a big childish to hold their interest. The illustrations are bright and well drawn and have a very traditional comic strip style feel.
EL –NO Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.