Monday, 19 September 2016

#ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood: Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Published by Bloomsbury August 2016 in paperback
183 pages in the hardback I won!

Summary from Publisher’s Website
If you go down to the woods today ... Well, every child knows NOT to, don't they?
Tamaya is on a scholarship to the prestigious Woodridge Academy and every day she and seventh-grader Marshall walk to school together. They never go through the woods. And when they arrive at school they stop talking to each other – because Marshall can't be seen to be friends with a little kid like Tamaya. Especially not with Chad around. Chad-the-bully, who makes Marshall's life utterly miserable. But today, hoping to avoid Chad, Marshall and Tamaya decide to go through the woods ... And what is waiting there for them is strange, sinister and entirely unexpected.

The next day, Chad doesn't turn up at school – no one knows where he is, not even his family. And Tamaya's arm is covered in a horribly, burning, itchy wound. As two unlikely heroes set out to rescue their bully, the town is about to be turned upside down by the mysterious Fuzzy Mud ...

From the Author’s own website:
Be careful. Your next step might be your last.
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.
In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.
****
Unusually, I’ve given you two summaries rather than an extract. This is because Fuzzy Mud is written in a number of different clever-yet-easily-readable ways – and to pick just one wouldn’t do it justice. Suffice to say, it’s almost a screenplay of a book (in a good way). 

Like Holes, it’s a fine example of how books for young readers can cover some really important issued without being boring or preachy or hard to cope with. It’s got warmth and humour, some scary bits and some parts where you’ll go what? (Trust me, it all makes sense in the end.)

I would utterly recommend this for almost any reasonably secure young reader – and for older readers too. It has enough interesting plot and ideas, and yet it’s not a difficult read. Super material for debate – be it in the classroom or at home. There are a few scares so the most sensitive souls might not like it, but for most children who like an adventure with credible characters and a satisfying finish, this will please.

A fast-paced, intriguing mix of science and American school life.

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed-and-breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You're always welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter.

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