Friday, August 19, 2011

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze

Hey, guys, I've been busy again, but I'm back and I agree with both of nboy's latest comments about the Great Harry Potter Controversy:

man this conversation is long i really dont like harry potter but jk and rick are both great but rick is greater

Right on, nboy! Rick is indeed greater and this conversation has gone long. Time to move onto something else, like telling you boys about great reads.

Attention all you Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans---here's a book very much in the DWK style but a whole lot better. It's Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by the awesome Alan Silberberg. There are drawings all throughout the book, like the DWK series, and lots and lots of very funny situations. And, like DWK, it's brilliant at catching those times when real life is like a cartoon, BUT--here's the kicker--it's MUCH better at giving you characters who act like real kids, grownups who sometimes act like grownups (which means they act like cartoons sometimes and also like real people), but Mr. Silberberg is especially good at giving us characters you really care about. By the end of the story, you REALLY want Milo and his dad to be OK.

The story starts out as Milo begins a year in a new school. He has all the trouble you'd expect in going to a new school--trying to fit in, finding new friends, etc. Besides all that, he's fallen for a very beautiful girl--who doesn't even know he's alive! Plus, the girl next door keeps leaving him notes all the time. What does that mean? Plus, he misses the school bus because he eats his Cheerios one at a time! But as you read, you find out there's more going on. The new house is the fifth one in the few years. The second was the "Fog House" because that's where he and his family lived when his mom died. Now his family is still trying to cope but they're like emotional zombies, going through life without any feeling. Especially his dad, who comes home, cooks dinner (the same three basic dinners), reads the paper for an hour and goes to bed. Will they ever be all right? Maybe--especially if Milo can be friends with the strange lady across the street.

I can't tell you how much I liked this book, guys!! It's touching and funny at the same time. It's touching, yes, because of all that Milo and his family go through but it is also funny. Like the first time the beautiful girl notices Milo (it's when he sneezes right in front of her!) And the illustrations are funny. Look at the different styles of haircuts for Milo's dad on page 125. Or the classroom picture on p. 63. But the two best illustrations are on pages 195 and 37. The first is the "Dad suit". Really touches your heart. The other is Milo and his new best friend sitting in front of a store and talking about junk food. We've all done this, guys. That's why this book is so great and why Mr. Silberberg is so brilliant--he perfectly captures the sweet moments of real life, the sad times, and the funny times when life is like a cartoon. You'll come away from this book feeling really good--and that's a whole lot more than I got from Greg Heffley. So don't sit around guys! Go get Milo and enjoy!

(BTW, my copy of this book was an ARC--that means it was an Advanced Reading Copy that Mr. Silberberg was nice enough to send me. These ARC's come out before the book is officially published. Sometimes the publishers make changes and corrections between the ARC and the official book, so the illustrations in your book may appear on slightly different pages. Don't worry, they'll be within a page or two of the numbers I mentioned)

This book earns the Iron Guy Seal as One Terrific Book!


Readingjunky said...

Hi Iron Guy,
I would like to pass on the Liebster Blog Award. I enjoy following your blog and want to pass the news along.


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Oh wow, looks really interesting. My nine year old daughter is a HUGE fan of wimpy kid, and the amelia's notebooks - I have a feeling she'd take to this one as well.

Iron Guy Carl said...

Yes, she would. I think you would too. Ask your daughter to write in a review if she likes it!

Ms. Yingling said...

Hey, Iron Guy! Want to help out with gauntlet flinging? What's the public librarian view of books that are being published for boys? I have been in such a tizzy about this topic all week that I have shown several of my classes my "Honorary Guy" certificate from you!

Iron Guy Carl said...

Hey, Ms. Yingling, I'd love to help but we're busy right now. Could I get back to you next week?

Mr. S said...

I agree, IGC. I describe Milo as the "good" version of DoaWK. The main thing I dislike about DoaWK is that Greg is completely unlikeable. He's a jerk, he's rude, lazy, careless. And for no reason! He has little to no remorse. Blah blah blah...adults are no fun, eh?

However! Milo is a lot of those things, too, but he's had traumas in his life that cause him to act certain ways. The book is full of great humor, with deep meaning and sadness. Alan did a great job.