March 28, 2009


I'd heard of this book (and the others in the series) but never read one.  I guess I'd heard it compared to Mark Twain so often that I dismissed it thinking, "Then I'll sick to Twain."

Then I wrote that novel last summer and I've had a number of readers compare it to the Soup books.  Well, those and the work of David Lubar.  I'm not too familiar with him either, and am working on rectifying that as well.

This was not the cover of the book I read.  Mine was from our school's media center and had the original illustrations.

It's a nostalgic look back at a rural childhood and the adventures of two friends.  It's a little moralistic, but funny and winning.  Each chapter is a separate tale.  The funny thing is that some parent-reviewers seem "shocked" by the content.  They're boys who mention their butts and try smoking (corn silk--yuck).  Big deal.  I was more put off by the passage in which they're about to cheat someone in town out of a small amount of money so they can go to a movie.  They decide it's "okay to cheat a Jew," even though they're not clear on what that means.  Of course they feel terrible when they're caught, but it certainly stood out.

Of course the boys in my book enjoy peeing in the snow, so who am I to talk?

I was mainly curious if kids today would enjoy it.  I haven't read it out loud yet, but I can't imagine that they wouldn't.  Boys getting into shenanigans.  It's a universal and timeless theme.