Monday, September 08, 2014

MMGM- Cool Beans: The Further Adventures of Bean Boy

18222713Harkrader, Lisa. Cool Beans: The Further Adventures of Bean Boy
May 6th 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers 

Tucker is getting used to his father living in Boston, and is disappointed that his epic win in the contest for H2O's sidekick isn't getting him more attention. He also has to contend with the evil Wesley, who snatches a helmet Tucker's younger brother, Beecher, wants right out of Beecher's hands at the sporting goods store. When Wesley then offers it as a prize for the school's epic dodge ball contest, Tucker knows he needs to win. That's not the only bit of injustice in Tucker's world-- the Art Club is in danger of losing their bulletin board to the girls' basketball team. They need to amass 15 members to secure their group's status, and since they are down to 9, Tucker comes up with a plan. He manages to coerce the principal into agreeing to have a pep assembly featuring the art club, and they have a fantastic AV supported performance art extravaganza... until the principal pulls the plug and moves on to sports teams. Tucker decides to post a Beanboy comic detailing the struggles of the club, and is surprised to find it copied and posted in the halls. The art club also forms a dodge ball team, and gets excellent advice on strategies from their coach. Will the group be able to get enough members to avoid extinction? And can Tucker get revenge on Wesley?
Strengths: Harkrader has a decided knack for middle grade boys' voice. Her Airball: My Life in Briefs is still one of my favorite basketball books. She manages to take situations, like the art club heading for extinction, and treats them in realistic ways. Tucker has challenges at home (Beecher is in special education classes and Tucker is often responsible for him; the family struggles financially), but believes strongly in the power of art to reach students who don't fit in in other areas. The dodge ball tips and stratgey were actually very interesting, and I always HATED dodge ball! The comic book connection is nice, although there are not enough pictures to qualify this as a true "notebook novel". I bought this one BEFORE I read it-- that's how much faith I had in Harkrader!
Weaknesses: Had trouble believing that the principal would concede and let the Art Club have a pep assembly, but other than that, I thought the school details were more accurate than in many titles!

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

10 comments:

janet smart said...

Thanks for the review. This sounds like a fun book and has an interesting title. Hooray for the Art Club, hope they come out on top.

Kay said...

I love the idea of the Art Club fighting for their place in the school. This sounds like a fun read.

Greg Pattridge said...

I thoroughly enjoyed THE ADVENTURES OF BEANBOY so I welcome another story about this fun character.

LInda Baie said...

I don't know this author, will look for the books, especially for my grandson who loves all these middle school sports books. Thanks!

Adrienne Gear said...

Always looking for books for boys and this one looks like a winner! I haven't heard of the first book so will definitely be getting them both for our school library! Thank you!

Rosi said...

Thanks for the review. I hadn't heard of this one. My grandson would probably like it.

Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) said...

Fun!!! What a neat sounding book. It is a definite classroom library book.

Happy reading this week! :)

Ricki Ginsberg at Unleashing Readers said...

Thank you for this review. I haven't heard of this book, and it looks very interesting. I love your candor in your posts. I am always able to get a very honest review. You are always reading the newest and best books out there! :)

thestylinglibrarian.com said...

Sounds like a fun book to partner with other underdog/rise above stories... added to a to-read list... never know with principals... but understand the doubt. ;) Happy reading week to you...

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

My 12 year old girl played for their basketball varsity team in her international school. This story sounds like one she would enjoy and have fun with.

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