Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Legend of Spud Murphy


This series by the author of the Artemis Fowl books is geared toward younger readers, those who are ready for chapter books that aren't too dense.  The lighthearted illustrations are a wonderful complement to the humorous text, and once I flip open the book to reveal the lack of tiny intimidating lines of uninterrupted print, this is a quick sell to kids at my library, particularly for (but not at all limited to) boys.

This first book in the series features a nine-year-old named Will who has four brothers, and he is the second eldest. When school is out for the summer, Will's parents come home to find the boys rampaging through the house and generally running amok.  Of course they don't blame the three younger brothers, who just have to bat their eyes and look sweetly angelic to escape all criticism.  The consequences apply only to Will and his ten-year-old brother, Marty.

Their parents decide the two boys must do something productive this summer, and they determine to drop Will and Marty off at the local public library for several hours a few days a week, and they will work on their reading and improve their minds. It wouldn't be such a bad thing at all, if it weren't for the fact that the boys - and every kid in the neighborhood, in fact - are terrified of the librarian, a woman known as Spud Murphy.  Her nickname comes from the rumor that she has a gas-powered potato gun that she uses to shoot kids who misbehave in the library, which squishes their faces up and turns them ugly.  Does she really have a spud gun?  Or is there something worse up her sleeve?  One thing's for sure: Will and Marty are in for an interesting and eventful summer!

This is a funny book that is so very appealing to its audience.  I wish we had dozens more like it at my library, because I know they would get snapped up as quickly as this series does.

Books in 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 Spud Murphy (#1 in the Will and Marty series) by Eoin Colfer; illustrated by Glenn McCoy (Hyperion Books for Children, 2004)

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