Saturday, June 30, 2018

Not So Normal Norbert

36546632Green, Joey and Patterson, James. Not So Normal Norbert 
July 2nd 2018 by jimmy patterson
ARC received from publisher at ALA Midwinter

Norbert lives in a futuristic dystopia where everything is gray and depressing. His parents were arrested and taken away years ago by the Truth Police, and he's being raised by a boring aunt and uncle. When Norbert stands up when the teacher is out of the room and riffs on the Loving Leader of the society, he is also arrested and sent to Zorquat Three with other children who are also deemed a menace to society and who are named Astor-Nuts. In this camp like environment, the quirky leaders encourage the children to be creative, but Norbert doesn't quite get it and thinks that he is still in danger of being sent to an even worse place when he speaks his mind. In the end, he understands what is going on.
Strengths: Anything with the Patterson imprint does well, and the quirky cover will sell this immediately to his fans.
Weaknesses: I do like some of Patterson's stuff, but this was more like Laugh Out Loud than I, Funny, and it rubbed me the wrong way. It was message heavy with the "society crushes creativity", and I just couldn't believe that Norbert was SO clueless. Yes, I'm all for giving children things they like, but they seemed like Brown Sugar Pop Tarts.
What I really think: I'm waiting to purchase a variety of these paper-over-board titles in prebinds, since they wear out quickly and it really hurts my feelings to repurchase them. Well, except Stick Dog and Big Nate.
Ms. Yingling

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