From School Library Journal
Grade 6–9—It may be a universal constant that siblings find ways to torment one another, and Wilson offers techniques for honing the rivalry to an art. From traditional moves such as "two for flinching" noogies, and pinching or tripping to more sophisticated techniques, like making "chocolate milk" from dog poo and inflicting other gross-outs on unsuspecting sibs, Wilson has all the moves covered. Unfortunately, while his humor is usually in the right place, many of his techniques could be truly dangerous: the "seat belt sling" advises swinging the buckle like a mace, and while a caution is offered ("Don't sling the belt unless you are ready to chip your brother's tooth and go live with Grandma for a few weeks"), readers may not take it seriously. Other techniques involve sitting on younger or smaller siblings to subdue them, or causing humiliation in front of their friends, which could lead to actual physical or psychological harm in the long run. Overall, the hurtful spirit of much of the book and the real potential for damage in some "techniques" make it hard to find an audience that is both young enough to appreciate the humor but old enough to know where to draw the line. School libraries in particular will want to stick with Wilson's How to Survive a Robot Uprising
(2005).—Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From classic behaviors like the ear flip and basic tripping to such comparatively new tortures as noogies, wedgies, and the wet-towel snap, Wilson systematizes the techniques of sibling harassment as a martial art practiced and honed to perfection over countless millennia by billions of human beings. Offering ideas for both attackers and attackees, he groups his brief (and largely superfluous) instructions into Offensive Moves, Defensive Moves, and Psychological Moves (most notable among the last being the Strong Ignore), then rounds off his manual with various tickles and other moves deemed most effective on toddler-age sibs. McClaine adds occasional two-toned drawings that depict young demonstrators of diverse ages and races. Unless used as a discussion-starter, this is unlikely to spark second thoughts in actual bullies, but like John Hargrave’s Mischief Maker’s Manual (2009) and the like, it may prove popular with armchair hooligans. Grades 4-6. --John Peters