Friday, May 4, 2012

Cheesie Mack is Not a Genius or Anything

Cheesie Mack is Not a Genius or Anything
Steve Cotler, illustrated by Adam McCauley
Random House, 2011
$15.99, Hardcover
March 23rd, 2012

Genre: Realistic, Humor, Mystery
Age: 8+
Description: This book is the account of Ronald “Cheesie” Mack’s last days before fifth grade gradution. In it he recounts the many things that happened to him and his best friend, Georgie. It all starts when Georgie’s dad looses his job which means that Georgie can’t go to summer camp with Mack and that means Mack can’t go because he doesn’t want to go without Georgie. To try to make him feel better, Georgie gets some mice and plans to let them loose during the graduation ceremony. However, their plot is foiled by Mack’s older sister “Junie the Goon.” At the amusement park-themed after party, Goon tries to sabotage the boys’ chance of winning a pizza party. Meanwhile, Georgie finds a really old envelope from the 1950s in his basement. In it was a locket and an old 1909 penny. When the boys investigate further they discover the owner of the letter lives down the street in the house commonly called “The Haunted Toad.” The boys get in touch with the owner—which takes some bravery—and discover the old penny they thought was worth $3 is actually more valuable then they thought.  Should they try to keep it and sell it to get money for Georgie to go to camp or should they do the right thing and return it to its rightful owner?
Opinion: I’m a bit mixed on this book. It obviously did well enough since there is a sequel coming out this summer in June but at times I was really bored and at other times I was laughing my head off. It seemed to lack consistency. If anything, Mack does teach readers a bunch of new things because he likes learning large, important-sounding words. He gives lots of random facts readers might not know (like rollie polies aren’t insects they are land crustaceans). There is also an element of interactivity where Mack is talking about something and suggests the reader go to his website, such as if you know a cool fact you should visit and tell him or on a number of occasions there are questions or puzzles where the answer is found on the website. This could be unfortunate for readers who do not have access to a computer. I also don’t know how well this book will age because of references to current pop culture things. I thing I found interesting is that there are some illustrations which are done by Adam McCauley who is famous for his drawings in Sachar’s Wayside Stories series and Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio.

No comments:

Post a Comment