Wacky Weird School


By Dan Gutman, Illustrated by Jim Paillot


Published by: HarperCollins Publishers (July, 2013)

Available in: paperback, library binding, Kindle, NOOK, audio edition

At the time of this review, there were 20 books in the My Weird School series, and two My Weird School Special books.


Dan Gutman is a goof. And that’s a compliment.

This new Halloween book, part of the Weird School series, is light on plot but pillowcase-full-of-candy heavy on funny.

The humor is juvenile, ridiculous, crude, rude, scary, silly and deliciously entertaining. It reads like a kid thinks and feels 100 per cent authentic.

That said, there is a very strange dream sequence in the middle. Hard to figure that out. Can a kid literally pass out from too much sugar? Who knows, who cares. This is not a book where the reader is meant to stop and think. Movement, plain and simple, is the point. That and “maximum candy accumulation,” a brilliant insight into any kid’s Halloween.

There’s also one tiny bit of scary, which is required for Halloween. Not super scary, just enough to get teeth clenched and fingers tight on the book for a few pages. If the reader’s adrenaline isn’t already skyrocketing from sugar osmosis, the scary segment does the trick. Or treat, depending on your preference.

Add in Jim Paillot’s very Saturday-morning-cartoon illustrations, and this book, and this series, is a big treat worth a good chew. It’s a literary delight, a comedic sweet and what parents can consider good candy for the brain.

And you don’t even need a toothbrush.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….