The Crook AnalysisThis one is definitely a book for kids. There’s not a cuss word from top to bottom and other than some mild violence, it’s definitely appropriate for adventure-loving children from 8 to 12 years old, so sayeth the cover and I agree. It’s well-written and part of a series called “Slug Pie Stories”.I’m 45 and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I wish this series had been around when I was a child. It stars three kids, Mick, his brother Finley and a local rich kid called Pj. All three of them read as if they are pre-teen or really early teens, like 13 at the oldest. The mini-gang reminds me of the group from The Goonies or, perhaps Stand by Me.
Again, my 5 and 7 year old boys loved Mick and Finley’s adventures and I was yet again tasked with nightly bedtime stories. I think they like zombies better, but bloodthirsty mermaids were almost as good. I liked that we got a little more insight on Mick, Finley, and even his mom. It gave us some more depth to all of the characters and I think Mick Bogerman is becoming a better author with each triumph against the monsters running amok in his town. My kids and I are all excited to see what happens to the Bogerman Brothers in the upcoming Slug Pie Story.
I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed this tale. The story is pitched at a middle grade audience, but Mick himself warns parents at the very start with a disclaimer that this book is not for the faint-hearted reader. On the other hand, if you have a young male reader (or female, obviously, but particularly male) who loves action, fantasy violence, heroic actions, kids having to solve problems out of their depth (pun intended) and just general mayhem and adventure, then get them onto this series right this second.
With a title like Slug Pie Story #2: How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid you know you’re in for an interesting take in children’s fiction. If there is any doubt allowed by such a title the cover says it all, reminding me of the classic horror-fiction of my youth. The two go hand in hand; a perfect alluding to the story to follow.---
PJ asks Mick and Finley to feed his newest pets, Sea Monkeys. Since the brothers have never seen sea monkeys or know what half of PJs vernacular means they accidentally feed the creatures something that irrevocably changes them. Only one creature survives to become a mermaid but it’s a mermaid defying Disney’s beautification process.The story that ensues is full of wit and twelve year old snark that made me wonder if this is how my pre-teen son thinks or interacts with his peers. I chuckled quite a bit and was pleasantly surprised by Bogerman’s original style in delivering what at first appears to be a grim fantastical tale and turns out to be interwoven with appropriate levels of feasibility, charm and wisdom.I loved the moral lesson brought home by the end, cautioning against pre-judgment of others based on cursory knowledge. The sibling relationship between the boys was marvelously utilized as was the connection to PJ making this a book (and series, assuming the other volumes are up to par with this one) I would suggest to my son for his or his grade’s reading program and pleasure.