Monday, July 24, 2017

Weird School Books ~ Dan Gutman, art by Jim Paillot reviews [@HarperChildrens @DanGutmanBooks ]

Mrs Master is a Disaster! (My Weirdest School #8)
Harper Collins
June 20, 2017
112 pages
(ages 6-10)
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

In this eighth book in the new My Weirdest School series, it s Grandparents Day at Ella Mentry School! Alexia s grandmother Mrs. Master makes weird inventions for a living, but A.J. and the gang come up with the weirdest invention of all. And they re going to make a bazillion dollars from it! Will they succeed? Or will their great big idea be flushed down the drain?

Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents and Toilets
June 20, 2017
192 pages
(ages 6-10)
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!

Did you know that the word “independence” never appears in the Declaration of Independence? Did you know that soldiers in World War I collected thousands of glowworms in jars to help them see at night?!

Learn more weird-but-true U.S. history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations.

Whether you're a kid who wants to learn more about our country's history or simply someone who wants to know how many Americans are involved in toilet-related injuries each year, this is the book for you!

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

These were the first two Weird School books I read and they were a fun discovery. The My Weirdest School book does seem able to be read individually, out of series order. (Though, other books likely explain some aspects: My Weirdest School #1: Mr Cooper is Super probably explains their teacher dressing like a superhero.) The nonfiction Fast Facts books can definitely be read separately from the Weird School series books.

My Weirdest School #8: Mrs Master is a Disaster! was a cute look at the process of inventing something. The process was definitely simplified and sped up, but included some useful information (you need to think of what people need but don't already have, making a prototype, etc_.

The parts about Grandparents' Day at the school have some bits that parents/older readers will get (one about being at Woodstock) but kids may just miss.

It is a fun, cute story that should be good for young readers.

My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents and Toilets is a nonfiction book with A.J. and Andrea from the Weird School books giving the information. The book does a great job presenting the information at an age-appropriate way. It doesn't stick with what you often learn as a kid: that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Readers learn about how the Native Americans were already here, how the Vikings came, and more, but without certain details that you don't need at that age.

The book had a lot of things I did learn through school, many of which I had forgotten about. It also had quite a few things I had never heard before (things involving oyster ice cream, pigeons in war or the movie Psycho, for example).

The explorers facts transition very well to those about the presidents and the combination seems natural. The inclusion of facts about toilets seems a little odder, but adds a bit of levity, seems to fit with A.J.'s character and might entice additional readers.

There was a joke repeated from Mrs Master is a Disaster but . . . whatever.

The photographs included in the book were of disappointingly low print quality, however. Many of the black and white images didn't have enough contrast, in the printed book, to really be seen. Based on web previews, the ebook versions seem clearer. I also wish they were larger.

Books like this one are ones I would have loved as a kid, with interesting facts put forth in a very entertaining and readable way.

books received from publisher for review consideration

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