Recommended for ages 10+
Imagine if Doug, the Wimpy Kid, his buddy, Rowley, and Fregley, the weird kid, started their own superhero group. Now you’ve got an idea of what to expect with The Incredible Three and a Half Superheroes. Headed by Sebastian Appleby-Krumble, aka The Brain, the three middle school friends and classmates are a quirky group of kids from class 6A, taught by the lovely Mrs. Daffodil. Their nemeses, class 6B (for bums, among other things), are taught by the awful Mr. Devill. Things have gone missing from Mrs. Daffodil’s class, and the school administration thinks that she may not be able to control her class. To save her teaching position and reputation, the Incredible Three and a Half (the half being Martin “The Chameleon’s invisible friend, a shy chicken) must find out exactly who the real culprit(s) are.
If that wasn’t enough on its own, Sebastian also has his awful – but wealthy – Aunt Boudicea – staying with them for her birthday festivities. Sebastian’s mother is going crazy trying to feed the woman and her husband, and create an entertaining birthday song and dance routine for Sebastian to perform to entertain her at her birthday party!
The book is written in middle grade style, but the language tends toward a slightly higher level. There’s more profanity than I expected in a middle grade book, so this may be an issue for some families. Written in first-person from Sebastian/The Brain’s point of view, and illustrated with black and white line drawings throughout, this will appeal to fans of The Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and other books in the diary/journal genre. There’s a lot of running back and forth between plot and subplot, and the writing becomes hectic, but kids will likely get a kick out of the craziness of planning a party for Sebastian’s crazy aunt and shrugging off the constant indignities she – and his classmates – toss his way.
Not a bad purchase for home and public libraries, but school libraries will likely be turned off by the language.