Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt -- ESSENTIAL

Mabbitt, Will The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones (Mabel Jones #1), illustrated by Ross Collins. 290 pgs. Viking (Penguin), 2015. $16.99. Violence: PG (some death and severing of limbs, but not in detail); Language: PG (4 mild swears).

When Mabel Jones picks her nose and eats the booger, she has no idea that a misfit band of pirates from another world has seen her do "The Deed." It's too late now, though, and soon Mabel finds herself kidnapped by those same pirates and spirited away on their ship. From that moment on it's adventure after adventure as Mabel fights to stay alive through perilous situations such as walking the "Greasy Pole of Death," challenging a fierce bear to a milk-drinking contest, and facing near-drowning multiple times.

The plot is, yes, quite unlikely. It is great fun nonetheless, filled with twists and turns, witty wordplay, and fart and booger jokes. Mabel is a fierce, smart heroine who still admits to being afraid and homesick on occasion -- without dwelling on it, of course, because what fun would that be? While I read this one to myself, I imagine it would be great fun to share with an upper elementary or middle school class.

EL (4-6), MS -- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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