Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mini Middle Grade Reviews: Louie Burger & Home Sweet Horror

The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger 
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: June 4th 2013
Genre: Middle Grade Humor
Source: ARC from Publisher

Fifth grader Louie Burger figures that with a goofy name like his, he must be destined to be a king of comedy like his idol Lou Lafferman. But he’s only ever performed his stand-up act in his closet, where he and his dad created the most exclusive comedy club ever—if by “exclusive” you mean that no one’s ever allowed inside. With the school talent show coming up, Louie’s wondering if now is his moment to kill (that’s comedian talk for “make actual people laugh”). And maybe, if he brings down the house, he’ll win back his former best friend Nick—who seems to be turning into one of those annoying sporty types—and fend off his dad’s home-improvement obsession, which threatens to remodel Louie’s comedy closet into a private bedroom for his older sister. Barftrocious!

Louie Burger knows he’s going to be a world-renown comedian one day. There’s just one problem—nobody has never even seen his comedy act, let alone liked it! He’s in the closet with his comedic skills—literally! But when he gets the chance to unleash his humor on the world, he’s not sure if he’s going to take it.

This book was charming, in an odd way. It made me smile and laugh, and imagine what it’s like to be an awkward 10 year old boy. He was a realistic and likeable character, which is something it seems harder and harder to find in Middle Grade fiction.

While I’m certainly not the target audience, I enjoyed this book nonetheless. I’ll be sure to recommend this book to any 10 year old boys I meet. Starting with my brother.

  Home Sweet Horror

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: July 9th 2013
Genre: Middle Grade Horror
Source: ARC from Publisher

Welcome. Have a seat. Let us tell you a story. But be warned. Home Sweet Horror isn’t just any tale. This is a Scary Tale.

Meet Liam Finn, who’s just moved into a new home with his father and sister. But this old house that seems empty, isn’t . . . Bloody Mary is here. Called back from the dead by a game, she’s just dying to talk.

I’m not one who usually goes for horror stories, but I thought I’d give this one a chance. It turned out to be mildly entertaining, though not particularly scary. I really enjoyed the illustrations, though. They were full of detail and definitely added another layer of creepiness. Worth the read. I’d definitely recommend this to some 3rd grader who looks in need of a scare!

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