Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Fuzzy Mud

Fuzzy Mud

Fall 2015 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Louis Sachar
ISBN: 978-0385743785
Hardcover Price: $16.99

In forested western Pennsylvania, an experimental bio lab with the disingenuous name of SunRay Farms and a posh school with the apt name of Woodridge Academy are situated relatively close together. Tamaya Dhilwaddi, a fifth-grader walks to and from school with Marshall, a seventh-grader. They've been walking together for years. On the day that Chad, a new boy at Woodridge, threatens to beat Marshall up, Marshall tells Tamaya only that they are taking a shortcut through the deep woods, which serves only to get them thoroughly lost.

Tired and concerned that someone is following them, Tamaya rests while Marshall climbs a ridge to look for a way out. She stares at a large puddle of some kind of fuzz-covered mud. When Chad appears and ferociously attacks Marshall, Tamaya scoops up a handful of the mud and smears it on Chad's face before she and Marshall turn and run. That night, Tamaya discovers a terrible rash on her hand that scooped up the fuzzy mud. At school the next day, everyone is buzzing because Chad has disappeared. Fearing his role in Chad's disappearance, Marshall plays dumb while Tamaya plunges into the woods to find and rescue Chad.

It's no secret that Louis Sachar understands the thinking processes of children - even when they're not thinking clearly. In this biological disaster plotted page-turner, Sachar emphasizes how one mutated cell can divide and replicate, by sprinkling the doubling numbers throughout the text to give the readers a drumbeat of how fast a disaster can occur. Stellar. Sachar.

Kemie Nix   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Look for this product at:
Random House Children's Books/Delacorte Press

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