Friday 23 June 2017

ReaditDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 23rd June 2017 - "The Misadventures of Max Crumbly - Middle School Mayhem" by Rachel Renee Russell (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

Our Chapter Book of the Week this week saw Charlotte go unusually quiet...
Sometimes it's actually very hard to guess what Charlotte thinks of a particular book.

Some are instant causes for celebration, the minute they're unwrapped from their parcel there's a whoop of joy before the book is spirited away - never to be seen again by yours truly until the point we start going through it to make some notes for our reviews.

With "The Misadventures of Max Crumbly - Middle School Mayhem" I didn't actually know we'd been sent a copy because Charlotte was there when the post was delivered. She grabbed the book and while my wife and I were doing our usual busy weekend catchup on cleaning, washing and lord knows what else (you parents know how weekends go, right? You're almost - I say ALMOST - glad to be back at work on the Monday afterwards just for a sit down).

A couple of hours later Charlotte emerged from her room, holding this book up like a trophy.

"Book of the week" she said, and then proceeded to tell me why.

"The Misadventures of Max Crumbly - Middle School Mayhem" is the second book in Rachel Renee Russell's new middle grade series, following on from the stellar success of her brilliant "Dork Diaries" series (again a series that Charlotte has loved to bits but still has a few books to catch up on).

In Max's previous adventure we saw him start a new school (after being homeschooled by his grandmother), and instantly fall foul of Doug "Thug" Thurston, who seemed to enjoy nothing more than stuffing Max head first into his own locker.

Max somehow made it through the first book, but in "Middle School Mayhem" things just go from bad to worse.

His madcap adventures this time involve two things Charlotte absolutely loves. Pizza and puppies. When we last left our hero, Max Crumbly, he had crash-landed on top of a Mighty Meat Monster pizza after taking a late night tumble through the vents at South Ridge Middle School - and he was completely surrounded by three ruthless criminals!

Will Max be shredded to bits like mozzarella cheese on the hard and crunchy pizza crust of doom? Can his friend and sidekick, computer whiz Erin, help get him out of this sticky situation alive?

And what's with all the puppies in the principal's office? 

It's bang on target for Charlotte's age group, a fabulous mix of humour, illustration and middle-grade angst fused together by a dorky but likeable hero (Rachel seems to have a knack for writing 'em, it has to be said!) I get the feeling that when Max Crumbly book three turns up (as it surely must), Charlotte will practically inhale the print off that one as well. 

"The Misadventures of Max Crumbly Book 2: Middle School Mayhem" by Rachel Renee Russell is out now, published by Simon and Schuster Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).