Some people never ask questions. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll look dumb, or maybe they don’t think of things to ask. But not me. It’s like my brain is one big bowl of Rice Krispies and all my questions are the milk. It’s a constant snap, crackle, and pop up there.
Brendan Buckley’s Sixth-Grade Experiment by Sundee T. Frazier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Brendan Buckley is back, and he’s headed for middle school! He has all-new questions to write down and ponder, from whether he can train his new pet anole to anticipate his morning feeding to whether he can pass his next Tae Kwon Do belt test. And why doesn’t his dad show as much interest in how his entry in the national science competition is going as in how he’ll do in the martial arts tournament? Why are things weird between him and his best friend? And how does he really feel about Morgan, the girl from the Rock Club who just started at his school?
There is a whole lot going on in this sequel to Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It. Brendan’s just discovering girls, who are way more complicated than anything he’s ever tried to study. His dad has gone back to school to finish his degree. His parents are hoping to adopt a baby. Brendan’s new relationship with his grandfather is still developing. Frazier uses a light touch with the material, skipping easily from topic to topic at a pace just right for our young hero. He’s a likeable kid, trying to do the right thing. His confusion as he applies his scientific mind to figuring out family, school, and girls is sensitively and sympathetically portrayed, yet lightened with a good dose of humor. This is fun, realistic, contemporary middle grade fiction. Suggest to fans of Lisa Yee‘s Rancho Rosetta books and Tom Angleberger‘s Origami Yoda.
On shelves January 10, 2012.
Brendan Buckley is growing up in this sweet, lighthearted, realistic tale.
e-ARC via NetGalley, provided by the publisher by request.