I had so much fun reading this book, I didn't realize it lacked both plot and character development until several days after I finished it. But hey, plot can be overrated. So is character development. This falls into the category of "I like it so eleven-year-old boys will love it too". Yum.
Lyle Williams, aka Mudshark, has honed his powers of observation and his fast reactions through babysitting his terrorizing triplet toddler sisters. He's also filled his head with knowledge from hanging out constantly at the local library where his mom works. Now he's a super-Encyclopedia Brown, with a photographic memory, instantaneous reactions, and a thriving business as the go-to guy in school for problems.
Until the seemingly psychic parrot arrives in the library, as a result of the Great Crayfish Experiment. Now chalkboard erasers are disappearing, Mudshark is losing his status - and maybe his cool - and the level of danger in the faculty restroom increases every day. Can Mudshark's brain triumph over a parrot? Can Kyle really work magic? Where is the gerbil hiding?
Verdict: I'm pleased I had the perspicacity to purchase this for my library earlier this year. It's full of hilarity, eccentricity, and unexpected twists with some thoughts to savor long after the story is over. Highly recommended.
ISBN: 978-0553494648; Published May 2009 by Yearling; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library.