Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Fun!

Hey, guys, this is some kind of great! I get to post book reviews twice in one week and that hasn't happened for a very long time. (Of course, I shouldn't be so impressed with myself--the incredible Ms. Yingling posts book reviews every day!)

I'm going to take a chance and go into full-blown Old Geezer Dude mode. I've lived long enough to say, "When I  was a kid..." and will take full advantage of it. And with what I think is good reason. When I was a kid, (told you I'd say it!) Halloween was all about FUN. Candy. Putting on a cool costume. Trick or Treating. Candy. Going door-to-door with your friends and getting enough candy to last until Thanksgiving. Yes, I know kids still do that but now other stuff has crept in. Gruesome stuff. Grotesquely scary stuff. You know what I mean. You see it everywhere--in yards, in stores and don't even ask about what you see on TV or movies.  Back in my day you'd see bed sheet ghosts in trees or paper bats in stores. Yeah, there were scary movies and stories but all that was part of the fun. It was scary like being on a roller coaster was scary--you knew what to expect, you screamed but knew you'd be safe and you talked about how great it was afterward. And the grownups wouldn't let you do it until you were big enough. But I'm not being an old grump here: there's a reason all this stuff bothers me these days. You ARE what you put into your minds, guys. That why I don't want to fill my head with all the gruesome stuff that comes around (and gets worse) every year. That also why you don't see me reviewing truly scary books. So let's concentrate this year on FUN. And to do that, I'm going to recommend some really good books that guys everywhere would like and are all about FUN.

syndetics-lcThe first is from the terrific The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series. All of these are about the "pretty weird grownups" that come to Bailey school--and may be more than they appear to be. Or maybe not. In this one, Dracula Doesn't Drink Lemonade by Debbie Dadey and Marsh Thornton Jones, Bailey School gets a new guidance counselor. He's from overseas and has a foreign accent. He all pale, doesn't come out during the day and the kids who see him--well, they all turn all pale too! Could he really be...? No, couldn't be! But maybe...This book was a lot of fun and even the few chills were fun.

View full imageThe next is a My Weird School Special by Dan Gutman. All guys know these books and how much fun they are. This one is no exception! In It's Halloween, I'm Turning Green, A.J. and friends go trick or treating. They hear that Mrs Yonkers has a special Halloween treat just for them. But no one knows where she lives. So they try to find her house but get lost! And they meet the Halloween Monster, who steals their candy. Will they ever find Mrs. Yonkers? Do teachers really paint him green? And what is the MicroMole 4000 Expandinator? You won't find out unless you read it, guys! And you'll laugh a bunch along the way.
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The first two books are short and you can read them really quickly. It's kind of like eating one of those bite-size Butterfingers in your trick-or-treat bag. (I read the My Weird School book in about 30 minutes) The next one is a little longer but still reads quickly. And this come about almost by accident. I'm trying to finish up the reading from my 2014 New Year's Resolution (yes, a MANLY MAN sticks with a resolution, no matter now long it takes!) and this one was on my list--and it turned aout to be about Halloween! And it was a fun read! It's part of the War of the Girls and the Boys series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. In case you don't know, It's about the Hartford boys and the Malloy girls. The Benson boys were best friends with the Hartford boys but then they moved away. Mr. Benson rented the house to the Malloy family. The Hartford boys want their friends to move back, so they figure that, if they pull enough tricks on the Malloy girls, they will move away and the Bensons move back. Only thing, the girls pull as many tricks as the boys! In The Girls Get Even, the Hrtford boys and Malloy girls bet each other that they can win best costume in the Halloween parade.The losers have to be the slaves of the winners for a month. So they spy to find out what the others are amking. But nothing turns out they way they expect! What happens? Well, once again, I won't tell! You've got to read to find out! (PS--this sereis was written back in the Eighties, which explains why the Hartfords waited for weeks for the Benson boy to write. They waited for a letter!)

View full imageThe last book was from the great Barbara Robinson, who wrote The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, one of the great books of all time. This one, The Best Halloween Ever, it's all about the Herdman kids again. The Herdmans. The worst kids in the world. They stuff kids in revolving doors. They take anchovies off pizzas and replace them with guppies. They hide during Halloween and steal everyone's candy and gum and money. They've gotten so bad, in fact, that they mayor called off Halloween. But the school decides to hold Halloween there, hopefully to keep Herdmans away. But Imogene Herdman finds out and tells all the kids that any place will be safer than school on Halloween night. So what happens? The lights go out. Kids go missing. And then--and then--well, the last thing you'd expect happens! This book  was great fun. Even reading about the Herdmans is fun. And funny. Get this and read it, guys! And it mentions Chunky Fruit and Nut candy! How long has it been since I've had one of those? They were yummy!

In fact, read all of these! Did I say they were fun? Maybe once or twice. They are Good Quick Reads and full of the humor guys love. Well, thanks for letting me get on my soapbox. Get these books,  enjoy them and, just for fun, tell me what is your favorite Halloween candy!

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