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Sweet Farts #2: Rippin' It Old School (Sweet Farts Series) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 3, 2010
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Raymond Bean: I loved everything by Dr. Seuss. My earliest book memory as a reader were the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. I remember loving that they were short stories I could read on my own. I thought Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume was HYSTERICAL! My fourth grade teacher read it to my class and I remember laughing along with the story. I enjoy reading it to my class to this day. Judy Blume’s Fudge series opened my eyes to books in a series, and I read many Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte's Web were books I read over and over. A book about Yogi Berra was the first nonfiction title I remember loving. Being a big baseball and basketball fan, I read about my favorite players and loved learning sports facts and trivia.
Question: Were you a reluctant reader?
Raymond Bean: There were times when I had books I was reading that I loved and couldn't put down. There were also periods I remember when I couldn't find books that I liked and wanted to read. I remember those periods being frustrating because I wanted to read, but had trouble finding something that connected with me. For example, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing spoke to me--I felt like I knew Peter Hatcher. He spoke and thought like my friends and me and felt like one of the guys. There weren’t enough books that made me feel like "one of the guys." I think this is true of most "reluctant readers." It's not that they don't want to read, it's usually that they can't find that book that speaks to them and they want to read.
Question: Did any books or authors influence you in your teaching or writing careers?
Raymond Bean: I think every book I ever loved helped to influence my teaching and writing. Seeing the movie Stand By Me had a huge impact on me when I was young. The characters seemed so real to me and it was that time period when I remember wanting to create stories. I later learned that Stand By Me was written by Stephen King and was part of a collection of four novellas in the book Different Seasons.
Chris Elliot, the comedian, published a book called Daddy's Boy. It was quick reading and ridiculously funny. It made me want to write silly stories of my own.
Question: What would you say to the parents, teachers, or librarians who feel that "bathroom humor”" is a discredit to the general book world?
Raymond Bean: I think the genre plays an important role in bringing the most reluctant readers to the bookshelf. For many reluctant readers, this genre is proof that books can be a good time! Books like Captain Underpants, The Day My Butt Went Psycho, and Sweet Farts appeal to children because they are silly and fun. Kids like silly and fun. If you have ever listened to elementary grade children talk for an extended period of time you know that they are generally very silly. Isn't being silly a big part of the fun in growing up? I believe that many students build their reading confidence in this genre. Perhaps it helps them complete their first chapter book and then they are hungry for more.
Question: Your wife has called Sweet Farts "a smart book with a silly title." Please explain.
Raymond Bean: I think she explains it perfectly. The Sweet Farts series is more than books about flatulence. There are also connections to science and history woven throughout. They are books that are written with the reluctant reader, the parent, the librarian, and the teacher in mind, and I think they will all find something to love about the series.
In Sweet Farts (2008), 10-year-old Keith Emerson invented a much-heralded product that took the smell out of intestinal gas for his school science project. In much of this sequel, though, Keith is discontented. He can’t come up with anything to match his earlier invention; his little sister refuses to eat anything but candy; and he is nervous about an upcoming television interview. As the novel’s title suggests, there is nothing subtle about the humor here, and even the fart jokes get a bit old. Additional comic scenes, though, add needed variety to the gas-centric humor, which will delight its target audience. Grades 3-5. --Todd Morning
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Walker has never been much of a reader (his obsession is sports if you didn’t know already), so I have this ongoing quest to find something that will get him to read. He likes anything sports-related, but really, Sports Illustrated for Kids only has so much reading involved. And I want him to get into chapter books. I’ve bought Planet Tad, Geronimo Stilton, Magic Treehouse, Wimpy Kid – you name it. He has some interest, but nothing he’s really into.
I love to read, so of course the image of him sitting with a book or the inability to put one down when called for dinner – that’s the experience I want him to have in a book.
So when these books showed up on Amazon, I thought, hey, why not, I’ll give it a whirl. I mean, Captain Underpants…there’s that…but this series…hmmm…Of course, he can’t put it down. I mean, THIS….has NEVER happened before…
And of course he wanted to take it to school. Being the responsible parent, I told him when he went into class to ask the teacher if it was ok. And of course (although she thought it was funny) she said no.
It’s the F word that kills it, I know…but the little boys just giggle when they say SweetFarts. My mother has always despised that word, but I’ve never thought it was that awful – probably because when I was in college a day didn’t go by that some dude didn’t scream it in our dorm.
So, if you ever wondered, as I did, here’s the scoop on that cousin word to poop:
The English word fart is one of the oldest words in the English vocabulary. Fart is most commonly used in reference to flatulence. The word “fart” is generally considered unsuitable in formal situations as it may be considered vulgar or offensive. Fart can be used as a noun or a verb.[
In certain circles the word is considered merely a common profanity with an often humorous connotation. For example, a person may be referred to as a ‘fart’, or an ‘old fart’, not necessarily depending on the person’s age. This may convey the sense that a person is boring or overly fussy and be intended as an insult, mainly when used in the second or third person. For example ‘”he’s a boring old fart!” However the word may be used as a colloquial term of endearment or in an attempt at humorous self-deprecation (e.g., in such phrases as “I know I’m just an old fart” or “you do like to fart about!”). ‘Fart’ is often only used as a term of endearment when the subject is personally well known to the user.
In both cases though, it tends to refer to personal habits or traits that the user considers to be a negative feature of the subject, even when it is a self-reference.
You learn something new every day right? In the meantime, if you’re trying to get your 8-10 year old into reading, I’d recommend some SweetFarts. Just don’t take it to school. Or church. That probably wouldn’t be a good idea either.
My second grader has been reading the Wimpy Kid books (and Captain Underpants) but I think he is just a tiny bit young for this one. He likes the fart parts of course, but the science fair aspect is a little over his head. Also, the ending is a little to fast and pat for much older than third or fourth grade, but quite enjoyable to the mind of an 8 year old.
The big brother/little sister interaction seems a little forced (would any 9 year old think his 3 year old sister is the cutest thing?), but really I am nitpicking.
Now, all that said, the book is a gas! (Sorry, couldn't help that one). One of the funniest topics known to boys, with a little bit of a serious bent (dealing with another kid and getting set up for ridicule) and then turning it around...fun stuff. If farting is what it takes to encourage reading, then fart away. I like it.
Most recent customer reviews
Super sweet and funny. :D
It is one of the best book ever!
It is so good
I loved it so much
Let me out of Fyi
Better luck next time, hate this waste of time
I think I will be a fan of Sweet Farts series. I hope the next one is