Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Brixton Brothers: The case of the case of mistaken identity by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex

Digging through the archives...

I am in love and laughing hysterically.

Some authors switch to new genres or reading levels and you wonder why. Why didn't they stick to what they knew best? But some authors are amazing Renaissance people of writing and can do everything. Authors like Mac Barnett, who has proven total mastery of the picture book in Billy Twitters and Guess Again! and now has taken hold of the middle grade mystery, kicked it across the room, grabbed it in a stranglehold, and forced it to release its secrets.

Steve Brixton idolizes his favorite mystery heroes, the Brixton Brothers. He hopes someday to be a detective just like them. But when a school assignment goes horribly wrong, Steve discovers that maybe being a detective isn't as easy as it looks. The entire book is a fascinating and hilarious spoof of the Hardy Boys, of course, but it also incorporates jokes on ALA READ posters, how-to books, and more!

Action, adventure, and constant hilarity along with Mac Barnett's trademark insane humor are perfectly matched to Adam Rex's slyly wicked illustrations. I nearly laughed myself sick when I saw the endpapers.

I am off to laugh some more and complete my New Year's Eve ritual of re-reading all the original Hardy Boys (and maybe parachute into Argentina, because I am a librarian and you know us - tougher than the FBI and far more impressive than the CIA)

I can't wait to get this book back to my library (it's another one I sneaked off the new shelf) and wave it in the faces of jaded reluctant readers.

Verdict: Recommended. So very recommended.

Revisited: While these did not take off as vigorously as I could have hoped, they are a strong staple of the mystery genre and an easy recommend to kids looking for a fun and mysterious read. Regularly read and recommended and still in print.

ISBN: 9781416978152; Published October 2009 by Simon and Schuster; Purchased for the library

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