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Desmond Pucket and the Cloverfield Junior High Carnival of Horrors Paperback – February 16, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Desmond Pucket is obsessed with monsters, movies, and all things scary. He's not looking forward to many things in his new year at school. The one thing keeping him motivated is the annual Cloverfield Junior High Carnival of Horrors, which will raise money for the school library on the chopping block due to budget cuts. However, a new principal has taken over and his first act is to cancel the Carnival of Horrors. Desmond and his friends dip into his bag of horror tricks to convince them to bring back the carnival and hopefully save the library. Relevant events from the two previous titles in the series are recapped although this volume of the series stands on its own. The comic book interludes and spot illustrations throughout will make this series appeal to those young readers who have already read Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Mark Tatulli is an internationally syndicated cartoonist best known for his popular comic strips Heart of the City, which chronicles a fun-loving, tenacious little girl's adventures in the big city of Philadelphia, and Lio, which tells the adventures of a young boy and his pet squid. In addition to cartooning, Tatulli is an accomplished filmmaker and animator, and the recipient of three Emmy Awards. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Donna, three children, and three nefarious cats, all of whom supply endless ideas for his books.
Top customer reviews
Thanks to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
It’s the start of a new school year and the main character, who loves monsters and lives to scare people, not only gets the cushy class schedule, he gets to do his “What I did over the summer” creative writing project as a graphic novel. And he’s in tight with the girl he likes, if in the friend zone so far; life is good. . . until the twist! (Otherwise it would be a really short book.)
The reader has to be on the lookout to get all the nuances here, some written, others drawn. The library is “like Google exploded!” and the librarian with the fist pump when the kid shouts, “I found it!” is pure gold. There are friends and enemies, at least to start, thought it takes a lot of personality changes and heel-about-face to make the story work out in the end. I found the plot resolution a little weak, but at least I was able to read it without that most hideous of earworms running through my head. . . until I thought about it just now. Dammit!
After the story there’s a “make your own monsters” section. And snot. (Not actual snot, how to make it. Almost as bad.)
Smarter than most.
Why I picked it up: Fun? Check. Funny? Check. Monsters? Check, check. What's not to love?
Why I finished it: This series has earned a special place on my shelf because of its delightful mix of horror, humor and heart. It makes me remember what it was like to be a kid pursuing their passions even if they seem to go against what everyone else likes. On the surface, Desmond may seem single-minded and lazy, but as a reader you know that he's got good intentions. He has the ability to see a need and finds a way to use his talents to meet that need - even if scaring isn't the optimal solution. Tatulli's story once again comes alive in the art - whether it be Desmond's scribbles or the intermittent illustrations between paragraphs. It's another reason to like this series: the hybrid novel/graphic novel really expounds on the characters and their actions while giving the reader a visual point of reference for some of the tricks Desmond is using to make sure the show goes on. Highly imaginative and humorous, Desmond will continue to make magic with readers both on and off the page.
In the last book, Desmond took a field trip to try to save a ride called The Monster Full of Mountains. This time around, he's back in school and excited for the school carnival. The problems occur when he finds out who the new principal is and that the carnival has been cancelled. He also has a rival that wants to take over as king of the scares. Can Desmond and his friends save the carnival of horrors? Can Desmond stay out of the school's gossipy newspaper with his secret crush?
I like this series. I felt like this one was a little weaker than previous books in the series. The cast of characters is fine and it's an okay story. There were some good twists and turns along the way. I also always like the how to sections that they include in the back of the books.
I received a review copy of this ebook from Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.