My site has a new look and I have a new book for you all today 🙂 It’s been driving me crazy having to wait to share this one with you. I LOVED this book. One of the best middle-grade books I’ve read in a while. It’s smart, funny, painfully awkward and I couldn’t put it down.
Revenge of the Star Survivors (2017, Holiday House, Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction)
Clark Sherman has the unfortunate opportunity to finish out his eighth-grade year at a new school. Festus Middle School to be exact, where the natives don’t take kindly to geeky, sci-fi obsessed newcomers. Armed with only his freshly purchased, “forest ranger-green thermo-protective parka” and love of the Star Survivors, Clark is intent on finding his way in this hostile environment without the aid of his commanders, i.e. his parents. But as the stress and attacks from bullies become too much, Clark is grateful for the friendship of the librarian and two other unlikely allies. With the help of his new friends, Clark will discover an evil plot at Festus that could affect him and the school for years to come.
Revenge of the Star Survivors, written by Michael Merschel, is quirky and fun and everything a middle-grade book should be. Clark is endearing and smart, and painfully awkward in a wonderful way. I couldn’t put this book down as I was drawn into Clark’s world and loved his character. The plot is clever and puts a new twist on the old tale of middle school bullies.
It did take a moment to orient myself with the book as it is told from Clark’s point of view and he narrates as if he is on a space expedition for much of the story. At first, it can make the narration a bit hard to follow, but it’s an engaging style of story-telling and I think it will appeal to boys especially.
Overall, I loved this book. The narration and the characters are wonderful and unique. Middle-grade readers will relate to Clark as he attempts to fit in and fails. I also love how the book confronts the issues with bullies and the sense of powerlessness children often feel as they don’t know who to turn to.
There are a few references to lewd jokes and gestures, but the descriptions are vague and leave room for interpretation so young readers might not understand the insinuations. Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.
5 stars for the intrepid star survivors
Thank you to Holiday House for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.