Tuesday 10 August 2021

Fuzzy Mud - Louis Sachar

Fuzzy Mud
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780385684613
eISBN 9780385684606

With all the books I have read, I have only read a few by Louis Sacher, less than a half dozen, in fact. I had plans a few years ago to read and review more, but never got around to it. And I was surprised when I went to review this one to find that I had only reviewed one of the four others I have read. My youngest daughter read this in school this year, in grade 5. I was intrigued by the cover and asked her about it as she worked on assignments around the book. So I picked up a copy to give a read myself. I was not disappointed but the book was much deeper than I expected. But considering the topics in Holes I should not have been surprised. But this volume does not have the same humour or lightness that comes through in Holes. 

This book is written in an interesting fashion. The chapters alternate between congressional hearings and events in and around the town of Heath Cliff, Pennsylvania, Woodridge Academy, and SunRay Farm. The main children in the story are Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi her friend Marshall Walsh who is in the seventh grade, and Chad Wilson a new kid at the school and bully who is focusing on Marshall. And the bullying sets off a chain of events that lead to a disaster that could impact the whole world. But those events are because of some experiments at SunRay. 

But the story goes well beyond school bullying. It is also about friendship. Doing what is right. And maybe even forgiveness. 

I will be honest as a father of 4 reading about a strange new disease and children impacted was not easy. And even reading about the emotions and feelings of Marshall as he lived through the bulling was not easy to read. But that being said it was a good book to read. I have had conversations with my daughter who read it, and my son who is older has his interest piqued by those conversations and is now reading the book. 

This is a book that will really make you slow down and think. And though parts of it were hard to read it was well worth reading. A great book for Middle Grade Readers and even for us older folks.

Books by Louis Sachar:
Sideways Stories From Wayside School:
Wayside School is Falling Down (1989)
Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School (1989)
More Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School (1994)
Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger (1995)
Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom (2020)

Marvin Redpost:
Kidnapped at Birth? (1992)
Why Pick on Me? (1993)
Is He a Girl? (1993)
Alone In His Teacher's House (1994)
Class President(1999)
A Flying Birthday Cake? (1999)
Super Fast Out of Control! (2000)
A Magic Crystal? (2000)

Holes (1998)
Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake (2003)
Small Steps (2006)

Other Books:
Johnny's in the Basement (1981)
Someday Angeline (1983)
Sixth Grade Secrets (1987)
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom (1988)
The Boy Who Lost His Face (1989)
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes (1991)
Monkey Soup (1992) (illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith)
The Cardturner (May 11, 2010)
Fuzzy Mud (2015)

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