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Belly Flop!: Book 3 (Mal and Chad) Paperback – December 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Mal and Chad Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-7-Once again, Mal is trying his hardest to impress Megan, and hilarity ensues. Invited to her birthday party by her dad, he does his best to stand out, but only gets teased. So, when the school talent show is announced, he uses that opportunity to try once again. Unfortunately, they get trapped in a freak snowstorm created by Mal's weather machine. Realizing that Chad may be in danger from the storm, Mal sneaks out to save his best friend. Megan, overhearing the situation, decides to follow and help. But when giant hail comes crashing down, the danger increases. Interestingly creative, yet simple to follow, the plot twists make this a great read for new and seasoned graphic-novel fans. The situations are funny and the adventures are fast paced. Mal may be a genius, but he is still a kid with insecurities and problems. Chad is the best friend that everyone wants; a dog that loves him unconditionally. Simple, clean, black-and-white drawings have action and expression. Kids will love this one.-Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Mal is a child prodigy who routinely invents physics-defying inventions like mind-reading hats, molecule reorganizers, and weather-control machines, all of which usually send him and his erstwhile canine companion, Chad, on whirlwind adventures. This adventure clocks in with a cracking pace that still has room for a deeper sense of Mal’s childhood yearning and tribulations, some smart gender-role-defying characterizations, and an emotionally satisfying end. McCranie, always adept at the soft-edged visual charm that makes his characters so engaging, this time ratchets things up with several dramatic splash pages and some truly striking visual ideas. Grades 2-5. --Jesse Karp
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Mal and Chad (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (December 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925658X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256585
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We love Mal and Chad. I wish it was in color on the inside. Other GNs like "Zita" and "Sidekicks" are a lot more fun for my younger boys to look at and enjoy.

Also, I wish there wasn't as much "school drama" in there -- Mal's obsession with a girl that doesn't think he's cool enough, and unkind school kids.

Still we have read all in the series and enjoyed them all.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love all the Mal and Chad books. This one is my second favorite in the series, but all the books are great. It's hard to go wrong with a boy scientist and his talking dog. Stephen McCranie's illustrations aren't anything to shake a stick at either, they jam pack every page with action giving the book a great flow. If you haven't read this already, read it. What are you waiting?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was great. It was for an 8 year old student of mine but my son who is three absolutely loved making up his own story with the illustrations in the comics. Awesome Buy. Recommended for all ages. I say that because my husband actually read the comic and thought it was well written and entertaining.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen McCranie knocks it out of the park again with his latest graphic novel! This is the perfect series of novels for the middle grades. Stephen brings to life a boy genius and his talking dog with his humorous writing and bold drawings.

It is hard not to relate to Mal even as as adult as Stephen brings us through a journey so many of us have experienced in school. The tales of bullies, first loves, homework, and being grounded for misbehavior. Mal has a great imagination that is not limited by his superior intelligence. He builds all types of inventions to try to solve the problems he faces, but rarely does everything go the way he wants, especially when it comes to love. Chad is the perfect sidekick as the voice of reason and faithful companion to Mal.

I enjoyed thoroughly reading this novel with my middle school students grades 5-6. They loved the humor and could not wait to hear what Mal would do next. I work with students who struggle with reading, but this novel was one that has inspired them to pick up books more often, especially graphic novels.

I would recommend this book to any late elementary or middle school reader. It is perfect for reluctant readers as it engages and entertains without being overwhelming.

I can't wait to see what Stephen comes up with next! He has built a fan club at a small rural middle school in Minnesota for sure!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't read this book completely, as it was a gift for my daughter. But she loves it - and loves Mal and Chad. It seems to be just the right level of adventure and silliness to capture her attention. She typically reads these right through.
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Format: Paperback
While the cover of this book is brightly colored, I was a bit disappointed when I opened it and found it was black and white. And I mean black and white, minus the traditional comic shading. Being a thick book I was expecting more depth but in fact the entire book is about a failing genius names Mal who appears to be a failure at life and is at the constant bullying of everyone and everything he comes in contact with. While this can be humorous if subtle or just sporadically, this entire book portrays Mal as someone who really needs to talk to an adult about all of these bully's. I often wonder if authors who write for tweens and teens even have kids and if they are acutely aware of the issues they face. While I don't usually put this much emphasis on the bully topic, I bring it up because my nine year old daughter reviewed this book also and this was the first thing she noted. By the end of the book she too was asking why nobody was dealing with the bullying issues that Max seems to face with on every single page. While I wouldn't recommended this specific title to anyone, I do hope that future Mal and Chad books can focus elsewhere and not make him out to be such a depressed and outcast little boy.
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By LH on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the book. It has a strong theme that kids can relate to; Mal seems to be picked on by everyone, even the girl he likes. Over all I enjoyed the book quite a bit.
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