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The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger Kindle Edition
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I enjoyed (pages 143-144) reading about Louie and the teacher, Mrs. Adler, and "stage fright". Then she says: "I first started teaching and felt nervous about getting up front of my class." When I was a math professor, the first day each time, I was nervous and I was fine after that. (I think I told you that I had a brain tumor in 3/1/2003 and I am 68 years old.)
On page 203, Louie finally throwing up was a CLASSIC!:
"Houston, we have a problem.
Fluffernutter soup. It's not a pretty sight."
I couldn't get the joke Barf! at first (Barftastic). Boy, am I slow, or what.
Finally, there was something neat about a large word.
I remember "Antidisestablishmentarianism" (28 letters), but, of course, I can't say it.
["Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (34 letters) from Mary Poppins, but that doesn't count.]
And then it says there is a longest word in a major dictionary: "Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" (45 letters)!
And finally, on page 110, it says:
"The Real Longest Word Ever
It has 1,913 letters. Anyone who can say it ten times fast wins a free puppy.
(Louie actually wrote the one word! And I love the free puppy part!) But then I checked some sources about the letters, and they say it is 1,909 letters. Is the letter count wrong, or just funny, or what? (Does that matter? Of course not.) [See: Bart Simpson cartoon, etc. http://as10.org/longest-english-word.html]
Of course, I'll get "Class B.U.R.P." Jenny Meyerhoff (the author), keep'm coming, Kid! [Way more than 5 stars! Maybe even more than SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!]
Over breakfast, Kou would provide an update on the latest developments in Louie Burger's life: his desire to be a comedian, his innovative wordplay and his struggles with stage fright.
I read each chapter myself to check my son's reading comprehension. For me, the bodily humor wasn't a hook as much as Louie's relationships with his friends (Nick and Thermos) and his family. In fact, one plot point - Nick's father losing his job - initiated a series of nervous from my son about my own employment. I was happy to assure him I have a full-time job, so no need to worry. I thank author Jenny Meyerhoff for that deeper discussion since fifth-graders tend to live in the moment.
Minus the bodily function humor, Louie Burger reminded me of another character, 11-year old Sullivan Mintz, a juggler who suffers stage fright in Cary Fagan's story, The Boy in the Box: Master Melville's Medicine Show. At their core, Louie and Sullivan are young boys just trying to find their place in the world.
Aren't we all.
Rating: Four stars