Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sibling rivalry at its worst!

Will has so many brothers who have so very many complaints that his parents rarely have time to listen to his troubles. So he makes a deal with his grandfather: on his weekly visits with him, Will will share the very worst thing that happened to him all week, and his grandfather, who has lived a long time and has suffered many troubles himself, will share a story about something bad that happened to him during his life.

The first week, Will is almost disappointed when it seems like nothing bad will happen to him, after all. But then something does, and he can't wait to tell his grandfather about it: during school, when he is in the bathroom, he doesn't realize until it's too late that there isn't any toilet paper. He has to call out for his teacher - a female teacher - to bring him some. How embarrassing!

Will's granddad admits that it may have been a bit embarrassing, but as far as bathroom stories go, it was actually a bit tame. And he goes on to tell his bathroom story, about when he was a kid and they didn't have any toilet paper, so they just had to use what was lying around. Newspaper, chip bags - and once they even had to use aluminum foil! His rear end was magnetized for a week, and thumbtacks and compasses and all kinds of things kept sticking to it - he had to check carefully before he sat down. Will has to admit that his story does fall a bit short compared to his grandfather's.

No matter what awful things happen to Will at school, his grandfather always has a story that makes his look pretty pathetic. Finally, he appeals to his father for help, and his father tells him a story he'd completely forgotten about, something that Will's' big brother did to him when Will was just a toddler, something so awful that he just might be able to top one of Granddad's stories.

This was a pick for my library's summer reading program, and even though it's the third in a series, I didn't feel I missed out on much just picking it up on its own. With its large text, many humorous illustrations and quick pace, it is sure to appeal to reluctant readers and those who are still a bit intimidated by long, uninterrupted blocks of text - as well as to those who are up for a quick, funny read. Will learns a surprising truth at the end of this book, and it's one that we'd all do well to keep in mind!

Books in the The Will and Marty series:
1. The Legend of Spud Murphy
2. The Legend of Captain Crow's Teeth

3. The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World

The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World by Eoin Colfer; illustrated by Glenn McCoy (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007)

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