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Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

9781406339819By: Stephan Pastis

Timmy Failure is a private detective, with a polar bear called Total who is his business partner, this of course does not make for a very good business name ‘Total Failure’. Timmy has several cases on the go at once;  missing candy, who TP’d someones house and what happened to the Failuremobile? There is also of course his greatest rival – she who should not be mentioned. Timmy plans to defeat her and be the best detective in the world.

Timmy is a character in the vein of middle grade fiction anti heroes – Big Nate and Greg Heffley. He lives with his mother, a single mum struggling to pay her bills. He isn’t good at school, he has trouble on focussing on anything other than his cases, and when it comes to those he seems to be somewhat narrow minded. Pairing him with a Total is an interesting dynamic because Total is a polar bear and really only does polar bear things – like each garbage. Timmy is quirky and entertaining, but his attitude towards his friends is a little annoying.  The other characters fit certain recognisable stereotypes which will make it immediately relatable to you readers. Timmy has drive on one level and none on others, (it is interesting to note how one of his teachers gets through to him and gets him to study).

If you are after something for your young reader who likes the Wimpy Kid books or Big Nate, then this is definitely worth a look.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 01 March 2013

Format: Hardback 304 pages

Categories: Crime, Humour, Cartoon, School

ISBN 13: 9781406339819

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Big Nate On A Roll

By: Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate series.

Big Nate was running late and a terrible series of events leads to him losing his skateboard. All is not totally terrible though as he finds out the scout who raises the most fundraising money for the scout troop will win a cool customised board. Nate is certain he can win – until he realises he is up against his arch nemesis, Artur. How is he going to compete with Mr Perfect? Then he comes up with a plan to split Artur and Jenny up so he can have Jenny all to himself. Only Nate’s plans don’t always go as he thinks they will.

Once again Nate brings his massive ego and a trail of disaster to us. Despite his obvious flaws there remains a strange appeal about Nate. you are happy to go along for the ride, enjoying the highs and lows that includes. Artur has a bigger part in this one than previous books and that gives Nate a good opponent to bounce off, of course Artur has no idea Nate views him this way. The style remains simple, easy to read and the illustrations and cartoon sections break it up well. I still think I prefer Big Nate to Greg Heffley.

Very entertaining.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 01 October 2011

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: Humour, Friendship, School

ISBN 13: 9780007355181

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Big Nate Strikes Again!

By: Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate believes he is awesome and that he is going to lead his team to victory in the upcoming fleeceball competition. The only problem he sees is the fact that annoying Gina is on his team. Gina can’t play at all and then she goes and calls the team he had named the Psycho Dogs, the Kuddle Kittens. This is all made worse by the fact Nate has been paired up with Gina for their homeroom assignment on Ben Franklin. Gina is sure Nate is going to ruin her perfect grades, like Nate is sure she will ruin his chances at fleeceball. Will they be able to work it out? Or will things work out in their own surprising way.

Another very funny Nate book, with more than enough disasters to be entertaining. Amusing illustrations and cartoon sections ass to the appeal of this series. Peirce has created an appealing goofball of a character in Nate. You can’t help but enjoy reading about Nate and his friends, they are all so much fun. This series is certainly worth a look, especially for Wimpy Kid fans.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 28 October 2010

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: Humour, School Stories

ISBN 13: 9780007355174

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Big Nate The Boy with the Biggest Head in the World

By: Lincoln Peirce

Nate Wright truly believes he has a great destiny. It is a shame he has a strange dad and a perfect sister. Also it doesn’t help that he’s not so good at school. He especially hates tests. Then he gets a fortune from a fortune cookie that says ‘Today you will surpass all others.’ This excites Nate and he is determined to see that this happens so others can recognise his greatness. He tries one thing after another including trying to speed eat green beans, but so many things go terribly wrong. Instead of a great day it is turning out to be terrible. Sometimes fortunes don’t work the way we think they will.

This is a very silly and funny book reminiscent of the Wimpy Kid books (which it may have inspired), and makes it a good choice for those that have read all of those books and are looking for something else to read. Nate however, seems somewhat naughtier or unluckier (or both) than Greg. There is something appealing about Nate for all that disaster seems to follow him. I know I am repeating myself but this is a lot of silly fun.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 01 April 2010

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: Fiction, Humour, School Stories

ISBN 13: 9780007355167

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

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