From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-With a zany style and deep insight into the secret lives of boys, Cumyn tells a series of connected stories about young Owen Skye and his two brothers, Andy and Leonard. Their adventures are, by turns, funny, frightening, and genuinely dangerous. All are fully engaging, although at times readers might wonder where reality stops and fantasy begins. Are there really aliens that can be contacted by radio from Dead Man's Hill? Does the Bog Man really suck out the juice from cattle? Is their archenemy the giant squid doing more evil deeds? But beyond the supernatural, Owen is bewildered by ordinary things, including his sudden attraction to Sylvia, which leads to a Valentine's Day fiasco and a visit to the dreaded principal. The boys have hilarious conversations about many subjects, including God: "Well, if God is everywhere, then he must be in toilet paper too! And cheese broccoli soup." Cumyn's prose is lively and liberally sprinkled with sparkling turns of phrase: "On that march home the cold slipped inside the boys' snowsuits and drained away all their heat like a plug had been pulled from the bathtub." The characters are fresh and genuinely fascinating, from Owen's clueless parents and his strange but wise Uncle Lorne, who lives in the dank basement, to kindly Nurse Debbie and others who enter the lives of these unruly siblings. This book is very funny, and it would be a splendid read-aloud or read-alone choice.Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
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