From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Perry Eckert loves to read Creatures and Caverns rule books and make up characters, but he doesn't play with anyone. That changes when he meets Sam and creates a new character that is a ferrule-a humanoid with red skin, yellow hair, and a tail. When Perry begins to cut classes to play with Sam, his parents decide to send him to Camp Washiska Lake where he will have to interact with "regular" kids and be without his beloved game. Not long after arriving, Perry meets an actual ferrule and travels to the World of the Other Normals. The ferrule, Mortin Enaw, and his intern, Ada Ember, explain to him that our world and theirs correspond to each other so that actions in one affect the other. Mortin studies these correspondences and has determined that if Perry kisses a certain girl at his camp, then the princess of his world will be rescued from a giant snake/insect creature. Adventures ensue in the other world involving police with octopus tentacles instead of legs and frog-headed courtesans but, in the end, it is at the summer camp where events come to a head. Vizzini has created a likable geek in Perry and an interesting alternate world that could easily be the setting for more adventures. This book will be enjoyed by readers open to something that straddles the line between fantasy and science fiction.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this uproarious fantasy, the fate of the world rests on a simple kiss—only, for “Mini Pecker” Perry Eckert, kissing a girl is far from simple. Stuck at summer camp because his parents think his obsession with role-playing games is stunting his growth, Perry chances upon a real-life version of a creature from his game and discovers the World of the Other Normals. It’s just like his RPG so Perry feels at home, but he is disappointed when the quest they assign him is in the world he would prefer to leave behind. In order to free a kidnapped princess in their world, Perry must kiss her correspondent in his, an unattainable girl named Anna. To succeed, Perry has to develop an entirely new set of skills—social skills. Despite the occasional strain on credulity, Perry is lovably awkward, and his goofy eagerness is offset by his bitingly funny observations. The fantasy world—full of creatures, monsters, and battles—will appeal to genre fans, but Vizzini’s true strength is in authentically depicting the skills needed to survive growing up, puberty and all. Grades 9-12. --Krista Hutley