Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom by Kelley - NO

Kelley, Marty Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom, 146 pgs, Holiday House Book, 2012.  $16.95.  Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (some gross humor related incidents); 

Simon is busy creating his next great plan to gain fame and fortune, emphasis on the fortune, but winning the school talent show which will help him in his attempts to take over the world.  Surrounded by his simple minded friends, Ralph and Munch, Simon's plans are foiled at every step leading to the night of the big talent show.

Although the chapters are the perfect length for readers launching into longer chapter books, the story takes a back seat to the negative behaviors of the characters.  Munch is perpetually eating gum scraped off of sidewalks along with anything that comes out of his nose.  Frequent references and descriptions of vomit are also a detractor to the story.  Frankly, I found myself cheering when Mrs. Annand, Simon's neighbor, threw crusty bran muffins at the boys to get them to stop rehearsing for the talent show.  Simon is constantly mean to family and those he calls his friends, which begs the question of why anyone spends time with the character.  The book wouldn't hold a wide appeal, it would mainly reach a small group of elementary school boys.  Even the glossary in the back of the book is tainted with Simon's negativity, although I did enjoy his vocabulary. NOT RECOMMENDED.  J. Hafen

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