Saturday, February 21, 2015

Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe

The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Start
Lexile: 850

 Travis Ann Sherman says The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Start, by Gordon McAlpine, is the mystery you love to recommend to 2nd to 5th graders, reluctant readers or otherwise. Heck, it's the book you like to read yourself.  Gimmicky? Yes. Can you get more of gimmick than identical twin heroes, the great great great grand nephews of Edgar Allan Poe, psychically linked together so that their brains work with mega swiftness?  As one who has always yearned for an identical twin genius, this book really hit the mark for me. The author's comic timing is just right, the action popping along. So many highly amusing scenes in this book, from when their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Rosecrans, rudely awakens them in class, to their revenge on the neighborhood bullies (they used real worms), to the discovery of the coffin intended for their use hidden behind the scenes of the roadside attraction by the villain.  (They're disguised as flying monkeys at the time.) Very amusing series. Oh, and there are tons of literary references thrown in for good measure.

  Jeannette Atwater says: As Travis points out, yes this book is very gimmicky! Very very very. However, who am I to say it's not a little bit funny? They are the great great great something grand nephews of Edgar Allen Poe! That alone is just ridiculously silly enough to be funny enough for lovers of the Wimpy Kid series and perhaps for those a couple steps above Captain Underpants. This is the audience I think McAlpine is trying to appeal to, and he makes a good case for these two prankster twins. There are laugh aloud moments throughout, and the nonsensical decisions of the twins will only pull the reader in more. And yes, they disguise as flying monkeys and there is a Wicked Witch and they find themselves in an OZitorium :)

Ungifted by Gordon Korman Atwater says:Gordon Korman writes with amazing ease towards young readers. The dialogue he writes between kids is uncanny to the conversations I hear kids having everyday. Ungifted follows the adventure of Donovan Curtis, a troublemaker, at the Academy of Scholastic Distinction. This school for gifted students mistakenly lets him into the school with paperwork mix-up. Donovan's interactions with his teachers and the grown ups around him are very funny and somehow the situations with them always end up in his favor. Somehow he manages to keep his secret at school, and chapters where the reader hears from his classmates and the administrators keep the reader engaged while at the same time making one wonder "how does he do it??" A book that gives the reader a perspective into the life of an ultimate prankster and the lives of gifted students, combining their worlds and perhaps arguing that there are fewer differences among us than we may think.