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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Henry Hubble's Book of Troubles by Andy Myer

Title: Henry Hubble's Book of Troubles
Author: Andy Myer
Publisher: Random House
Pub. Date: February 10, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade
Rec. Age Level: 9-12
Pages: 160
More by this author: Delia's Dull Day & Pickles, Please

For middle-grade readers looking for a uniquely funny, illustrated exposé on one boy’s troubles in school and at home. Hand this to those searching for a book like Just Jake and Timmy Failure.

Meet Henry Hubble. He’s in a world of trouble. From class-trip bathroom breaks to Halloween-costume catastrophes to lunchroom-table love drama, Henry is always in the middle of a debacle. That is . . . until this journal (yes, the very journal you hold in your hands) makes Henry a media mogul and one of the most popular sixth graders in the world. But you’re just going to have to start reading to find out why.
Henry Harrison Hubble can't seem to catch a break. His schemes and ideas always seem to lead to trouble, even when he's trying to do the right thing. His journal is his outlet, where he records his thoughts, the events of the day, poems, and doodles. It's super private and totally off limits to anyone who isn't him, but when someone who isn't Henry's biggest fan gets his hands on it, things get even crazier than usual.

Henry has quite the personality. The entire novel is told through Henry's journal entries, so it's all Henry, all the time. I was left with the distinct impression Henry's journal was a pretty accurate representation of his general demeanor... That is, he's one of those kids that talks a mile a minute about everything - a trait that can be completely endearing and completely overwhelming. 

Henry's antics get him into all kinds of sticky situations, sometimes literally. One of the first situations Henry relates to readers is the time when he caught a squirrel using a large ball of marshmallow fluff he keeps in his backpack, then brought it to school. Of course, the squirrel escapes into the school and creates all sorts of havoc, landing Henry in - you guessed it - trouble. His stories and crazy ideas are entertaining, especially when paired with the thick-lined doodles throughout the text.

Henry Hubble's Book of Troubles is a great pick for readers who are advanced enough to move beyond early chapter books, but still a bit intimidated by books with no pictures. Readers who appreciate the humor and pacing of the Wimpy Kid, Timmy Failure, and Big Nate books will find much to like here as well.



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