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Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made Hardcover – February 26, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-8-Timmy Failure's new surname is completely apt. His original family name was "Fayleure," he explains, "but somebody changed it." And that bit of shallow self-assessment is just about the only accurate thing Timmy relates about himself for the rest of this highly illustrated comic novel as he unreliably narrates a boastful "historical record" of his adventures as the self-described founder, president, and CEO of the best detective agency in town, probably the state, perhaps the nation, Total Failure, Inc. Total is actually the name of Timmy's partner, a 1500-pound polar bear whose main talent seems to be eating trash. He's also "assisted," at times, by a sheepish and studious sidekick, Rollo Tookus, who often picks up on clues that soar completely past Timmy's selective attention as he, instead, focuses on demeaning Rollo for his supposed incompetence at every turn. And, of course, every master Investigator needs an evil nemesis, and Timmy's is Corrina Corrina, who looks like she might have been collaboratively created by Charles Schulz and Edward Gorey. While the book is not quite a graphic novel, Pastis, creator of the syndicated comic strip Pearls Before Swine, peppers nearly every page of this comic romp with at least one intentionally amateurish black-and-white illustration, enhancing the laughs along the way as Timmy misses even the most obvious clues in Clouseauesque fashion. Middle grade readers will appreciate all the silly sleuthing and absurd details, and older readers-including parents who come along for the ride-will find a satisfying layer of more sophisticated humor, too.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Eleven-year-old Timmy Failure would have you believe that he is the best detective in town, destined to head a multibillion-dollar agency. But he is no Encyclopedia Brown. The fact that his partner is an imaginary 1,200-pound polar bear named Total—hence the agency’s moniker “Total Failure”—is an indication of Timmy’s rich inner life. In reality, Timmy is bored at school by teachers who don’t get him and is in a whole heap of trouble for using his mother’s Segway, which was then stolen. Cartoonist Pastis’ book is in the same vein as Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), but his brand of humor is less slapstick and much darker. Timmy’s delusional self-confidence seems almost pathetic at times, as the reader realizes that he is very socially inept. Fortunately for Timmy, there are some adults in his life who really do care for him, and with the right balance of indulgence and firmness, they keep him on track. Younger readers attracted by the cartoons might not connect with Timmy’s offbeat humor, but older readers should be simultaneously amused and touched by this quirky antihero. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This may be Pastis’ first book for young people, but he is a New York Times best-selling adult author. Impressive promotional plans include an author tour, promotional items, and extensive consumer advertising. Grades 4-7. --Kara Dean
Top customer reviews
You will not regret getting this book. I am an 11 year old boy who loves this book. I finished this book in a couple days, the pictures are great and you will find this book super interesting. I guarantee you will love this book. This book is always enjoyable and upbeat.
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ve in South Africa. (I'm 10 years old) My friend gave me this book for my birthday.Read more