Monday, April 1, 2013
Hashbrown Winters and the Whiz-tastrophie by Frank L. Cole
For Middle Grade Monday I have a really cute middle grade boy book for everyone. It is Hashbrown Winters and the Whiz-tastophie by Frank L. Cole.
Hashbrown and his gang are on a losing streak to Melanie "Thumbs" Nottingham and her groupies. Hashbrown's latest plan calls for trying to beat Melanie at laser tag. The problem- his gang isn't really that groovy. In fact, one of them is nicknamed Whiz, because he has to go pee every few minutes, and if there's not a bathroom around, oh well!
Hashbrown has hope. The Oracle in the Locker has told him not to use Whiz if they want to win, but Hashbrown's gang figures out that if you do the opposite of what the Oracle tells you, it happens! So, Whiz prepares to battle, only to end up "going" on the electrical equipment. This event causes a sub-space disturbance, and Whiz is transported to another galaxy, an all-or-nothing laser tag game world. It is up to Hashbrown and his friends to rescue Whiz and save the day.
This book is full of boy humor and kids will love it. Though it is part of a series, this is the first of the group I've read, and it was fine. All of the boys in Hashbrown's gang have odd nicknames, and it took me a while to figure out those weren't their real names, lol. I really like that they all stick together and have one anothers backs. It reminded me of The Little Rascals.
I did have one concern, and that was the use of laser tag as the main stimulus of the book. I don't know about you, but laser tag was big for me back in the late eighties. In this book, all the kids in the town seem to be into the game and there is a whole laser tag park. Then, in the opposite dimension, the whole world is one big laser tag game. I just couldn't get that excited about it, and I hope kids that read the book will know what laser tag is about.
Overall, a fun and adventurous read for ages 8 and up.