My Weird School Graphic Novel: Get a Grip! We're on a Trip! (My Weird School Graphic Novel, 2)
“the kind of school humor kids will appreciate.”
Dan Gutman introduces the second in his Weird School Graphic Novel series, brightly colored books that feature the kind of school humor kids will appreciate. The bad guy is president of the Board of Education, an evil villain who wants to destroy Ella Mentry school since the students’ test results aren’t high enough. In order to torpedo the school, he suggests an impossible class contest to the principal, one the kids can’t possibly win, which will somehow prove how badly the school is run. With that proof, the bad guy can blow up the school and build a toxic waste dump instead.
What could the contest possibly be? The students must read 5000 books and if they do, will win a trip a Dizzyland! Clearly that would be impossible. But with some quick calculations on a smartphone, one student figures out, “You know, if each of us reads 10 books a day, that would be 70 books. If we did if for a week, it would be 490 books. And if we did it for 10 weeks, it would be 4,900 books. And if we. . . we could DO this!”
Ten books a day still seems like quite a challenge, but the diverse group of students eagerly dive in. Sadly, we get no sense of the books they read, whether they like them or not, if they all suddenly become avid bookworms. The books are a means to an end, a chore to be gotten through, at least until the end of the story where it seems perhaps some information was learned after all.
Naturally, the kids read the required 5000 books. But where is the money to come from for such a trip? It was never considered a real possibility, after all. Gutman disposes of that little issue quickly and gets the students on a bus, a plane, and off to Dizzyland, where there are comic and dramatic hijinks of the kind you expect at a theme park. The book ends with the predictable parent-child conversation: “How was your day?” “Fine.” The reader, of course, knows otherwise, and will look for the next adventure in this fast-paced, almost manic series.