Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Am Serious. And Don't Call Me Shirley.

Lately I've been in a rut of very serious books. They're all about the fate of the world, and death and love and other serious matters. They were good, by and large, but I seriously needed a change.

Luckily, the next book in M.T. Anderson's Pals in Peril series came my way. This is an homage to, and send-up of, all those kids' adventure tales of the 40s and 50s. Every time I read one, the sheer madcap fun of it all leaves me smiling. I dare you to keep a straight face when reading even the titles:

Whales on Stilts!
The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen
Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware
Agent Q, or the Smell of Danger!
Zombie Mommy

Lily Gefelty is a quiet, normal girl who just so happens to be best friends with Katie Mulligan ("star of the Horror Hollow book series!") and Jasper Dash ("Boy Technonaut!") Both her friends have their own book series in which they battle evil and get home in time for dinner. Next to them she feels very dull. All that's about to change, though. With Katie and Jasper, she gets sucked into a series of adventures that include whales (on stilts, natch), ninja monks, the despot of Delaware, double agents, and no dullness whatsoever. And to their parents' dismay, they rarely get home in time for dinner.

They're written for kids, but adults who were well-read kids, and enjoy a heaping helping of witty silliness, will devour them as well.

- Maureen K

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