Tuesday, August 27, 2013
If there’s one important thing Wilmer Dooley’s dad always says, it’s this: “Where are my car keys?”
Okay, maybe not that. He also says: “Observe!”
Wilmer has always known that the greatest science comes from the keenest observations. So when he observes his classmates looking a little green…and orange...and chartreuse-fuchsia polka-dotted...he knows that it’s up to him to find the cause of this mysterious illness—and the cure.
But with his arch nemesis, Claudius Dill, hot on his heels; the eagle-eyed biology teacher, Mrs. Padgett, determined to thwart his plans; and a host of fluorescent classmates bouncing off the walls at increasingly dangerous speeds, can Wilmer prove he has what it takes to save the sixth grade from a colorful demise before it’s too late? -- Atheneum Books for Young Readers
THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL by Fowler DeWitt and illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo is a very cute middle grade novel that will appeal to all sorts of readers... including reluctant ones! It is an entertaining (and very funny!) story with a geeky, but lovable main character; and it also has elements of a mystery. There truly is something for everyone!
THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL is sixth grader Wilmer Dooley's story about how he solved a crisis at his middle school. Like his father, Wilmer is a scientist and knows the importance of "Observation." When Wilmer's classmates begin changing colors -- and even patterns, Wilmer is determined to get all of the facts and find a cure.
However, Claudius Dill, Wilmer's rival, has the same idea; and he actually offers a "cure" to the students before Wilmer can figure out what's going on. Wilmer suspects that Claudius is up to no good and he's pretty sure that Claudius's "cure" isn't doing what he promised. Can Wilmer overcome Claudius's behavior and figure out what's causing all of his classmates to change colors before it's too late?
THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL is just a fun book. The novel is geared towards kids 7 - 10, and I can see how children in this age range will just love this silly story. I think one of the main reasons this book will appeal to children is because it's downright funny. I have a nine year old, so I understand how "odd" his humor can be; and this book feeds right into it!
Wilmer is a funny character in his own right because he is truly a nerd, but his family is certainly special as well. I can't say I didn't understand why Wilmer is the way he is! His father is kind of scatterbrained and clueless-- to put it mildly, while his mother concocts meals from her toddler's seemingly random suggestions. I guarantee you will be disgusted by some of her creations!
I also appreciated that this book had a mystery at its core -- why were Wilmer's classmates changing colors? I liked that Wilmer used his classroom lessons to methodically research the case including taking samples, conducting experiments, and making hypotheses; and I was even impressed with how he compared this "disease" to the Black Plague.
Another aspect of THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL that I enjoyed was that it touched upon some friendship and compassion issues. Wilmer has some problems with his best friend during the story based on a misunderstanding. Fortunately, they were able to work through their problems and learn from them. In addition, Wilmer had to deal with a not-so-nice person in the form of Claudius. While Claudius was most definitely Wilmer's nemesis, Wilmer still found it in his heart to try to understand why Claudius was the way he was.
THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL has a lot to offer young readers. I recommend it to fans of mysteries and humor!
Check out the adorable book trailer:
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.
Giveaway alert: Thanks to the fine folks at Simon & Schuster, I have a copy of THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL and Custom-made Contagious Colors Band-Aids to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before September 6th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with US addresses only. Good luck.