From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5–The reputation of the fifth graders of Aesop Elementary School precedes them and no one wants to teach this rowdy group. Luckily, Mr. Jupiter, their intrepid, world-traveling, fourth-grade teacher, is willing to step up to the challenge. As the other teachers breathe sighs of relief, Mr. Jupiter revels in exposing this exuberant group to unusual and exciting information. From singing Burmese guinea pigs to ancient texts such as The Babylonian Book of Babble, which actually produces a thunderstorm, Mr. Jupiter has all that it takes to keep their attention. Just when it seems that the over-the-top silliness and slapstick humor are going to overtake the story, the chaos is put into perspective by a moral at the end of each chapter. These morals highlight a lesson learned by the class or, in some cases, a particular student, and provide readers with the realization that something special and noteworthy has taken place. Kids will appreciate the teacher's efforts on his students' behalf and wish they had one like him. Suggest this title for reluctant readers and those who enjoy the humor of Sarah Weeks's Oggie Cooder (Scholastic, 2008) and Dan Gutman's "My Weird School Daze" books (HarperCollins).Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this follow-up to The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School (2007), the students are not so much characters as single character traits; it serves as revelation at book’s end when a few of them act outside of their usual modes. The incidents are mostly exaggerated school-day circumstances, including amusing interactions with the art and music teachers, but a few episodes veer awkwardly into the supernatural, as when one boy stumbles upon The Babylonian Book of Babble, which summons storm clouds. Fleming’s story won’t disappoint fans of the previous book, but the determinedly zany humor is not for everyone. Grades 3-5. --Abby Nolan