--to bring you my annual Halloween rant. You may have seen it last year and the year before, in which I basically say that Halloween should be FUN. Scary, yes, but in a fun way. Not with all the gruesome stuff you see nowadays that would give nightmares to your nightmares. But enough about that--
I'm going to tell you about some books that are good for Halloween and are a whole lot of fun. And most of them are about Mad Scientists.
That's because the library has held a Community Read event in October. The grownups read the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a story about a scientist whose experiment worked--and with bad and unforeseen results. For kids, the library picked The Fourteenth Goldfish, a book about a scientist whose experiment succeeded but with unforeseen results. Were they bad? You have to figure that one out!
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
Ellie's brilliant scientist grandfather, Melvin Sagarsky, (who has a fan club in Finland) has invented a serum that reverses aging. The problem is that it turned him into a 13-year-old boy! The police didn't believe he wasn't just a kid and took him to live with Ellie and her mom. But he still acts like a cranky old guy. And he has to go to middle school again. And he wants to let the Nobel committee about his wonderful invention. He's bound to get one--after all, it would be great to be young forever, right? Right? Maybe...
This book had a good story that moved right along. It was fun to see the interaction between Ellie, her grandfather (looking like a kid) and Ellie's mom. It also brings up lots of good ideas for discussion and has lots of interesting info about notable scientists at the end.
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka
Oh, man, now here's a book to bust your gut from laughing! Brilliant kid inventor Frank Einstein is living for a while with his brilliant scientist grandfather, Al Einstein. (not that Einstein!) Frank tries, like Victor Frankenstein, to create something living out of inanimate matter--in this case, a web camera, a Shop Vac, a jumbo kitchen trash can and other parts. Does he succeed? And can he actually create an endless supply of energy using matter/antimatter? The only way to find out is to read this terrific book! And you'll find laughs and thrills while reading, along with a chimp that spells "Peace out" in sign language, a robot that tells stupid jokes and a giant Antimatter Squirt Gun.
Science Fair by Dave Barry
Oh, man, what a GREAT audiobook! I heard this many years ago and never forgot it. One of the funniest things you will ever listen to. It would take too long to explain, so let me simply say that Dave Barry creates an amazing laugh ride out of a high school science fair and national security, spies from the country Krpshtskan (led by the dictator Grdankl the Strong) who become obsessed with shopping channels, a floating frog, a mysterious dude in the mall's science store who makes mysterious things happen, and the biggest Nuclear Mentos experiment of all time!
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex
And I can't post about Frankenstein without mentioning these two oldies but really goodies. These are books of poems (yes, poems!) that will make any guy laugh out loud. In the first, we wonder what happens when the Invisible Man gets a haircut, who would tell Dracula he has something green stuck in his teeth and if The Phantom of the Opera gets "It's a Small World" out of his head. In the second, Frankenstein gets married. But why can't Dracula eat anything on the buffet? And what is on the Headless Horseman's blog? And why does no one go to Skull Island anymore? And why does Frankenstein really want a harpist at the wedding? These books have been around quite a while and they still get checked out. You truly owe it to yourselves to find out why!
OK, boys, these are perfect for Halloween or any time of year. Check them out and have a fun Halloween!