Middle School Misadventures

Jason Platt. Little, Brown, $24.99 (232p) ISBN 978-0-316-41686-3
Newell is struggling to survive the final weeks of the school year when, on one calamitous day in May, Principal Todd sentences him to a fate worse than extra math homework: summer school. Newell has one possible out—if he can perform spectacularly at the school talent show, which is just a few days away, Mr. Todd will return his summer freedom. Unfortunately, Newell’s talents are lacking, and his prospects look even worse after his archenemy, Clara, signs him up to perform “as a penguin in a tutu.” Even as his friends pitch in to help him assemble an act, Newell feels that he might be a lost cause. Debut author Platt, creator of the web comic Mister & Me, relies on sparse backgrounds and elastic line work to direct the focus toward his characters’ often hyper-reactive states. The end result is a smooth-flowing Calvin and Hobbes–like school and family narrative that will keep readers enjoying both the gags and the plight of the fourth-wall-breaking protagonist—equal parts Walter Mitty and Dennis the Menace—all the way up to the grand finale. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/24/2019
Release date: 04/09/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-316-41688-7
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