Monday, February 18, 2019

MMGM- Favorite Series, #2

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Lerner, Jarrett. Revenge of the EngiNerds (EngiNerds #2)
February 19th 2019 by Aladdin
E ARC from Netgalley

Farting, voracious robots can cause a lot of damage, as Ken learned in EngiNerds. After taking care of most of them, Robot 18 is still on the loose, and Ken believes he is responsible for the satellites falling from the sky and a number of grocery store break ins. His friends John Henry, Jerry, and Edsley are not as convinced, and are less than motivated to help him locate the robot. In fact, they are so enthralled with alien-obsessed Mikaela and her gadgets that none of them but Edsley help Ken out. After his dog, Kitty, runs off and forages under the dumpster at Stuff & Things, which sets off the Data Eater that Ken is returning to Mikaela, Ken finds the robot, who is working as a clerk for Stan and calling himself Klaus. Ken narrowly escapes both the wrath of Stan (the owner of the store who hates kids) and Klaus' shooting of food cubes, and retreats to form a plan without his friends. He decides to lure Klaus to a local park with the promise of a Festival of Comestibles, and douse him with water so he is deactivated. Parts of the plan work, but the other EngiNerds, along with Mikaela, are at the park. Luckily, they are willing to help Ken and Edsely fend off the robot, which results in the most epic food fight in middle grade literature. However, more surprises are on the horizon, and Mikaela, who has earned herself the title of EngiNerd, might not be as wrong as Ken has imagined.
Strengths: The appearance of Mikaela is particularly brilliant. It is completely true to life that the EngiNerds might not get along well with girls, so having a girl appear with gadgets and a confident approach to her own agenda is just a really nice touch. The fact that Dan and Ken have sort of a falling out, and Ken has to hang out with Edsely, who is sort of that "why am I friends with this person" acquaintance, is also completely reflective of the middle school experience. Of course, those are not the things that the average middle grade reader will appreciate. They will be enthralled by the farting robots and aliens on the loose, as they should be, but I'm glad that the relationship dynamics are carefully inserted into the plot. I also loved the parents, who are around just enough to warn Ken not to throw up on his shoes. This was a fun, quick read, and a worthy follow up to the first book.
Weaknesses: CLIFFHANGER ENDING! Gah! Now I have to wait for the next book!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and will look forward to see how the characters get along in the next volume, and how the alien/robot threat will be dispatched by our resourceful and talented crew.
Falatko, Julie and Jack, Colin (illus.)
Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Start a Club by Accident
January 29th 2019 by Scholastic
Public Library Copy

Sassy and Waldo still love going to school (What? You haven't read Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go To School? GO DO THAT RIGHT NOW!) in order to make sure that their boy, Stewart, is safe. Of course, they also enjoy lunch (Meat! Cheese! Meat WITH cheese!) and doing homework, and everyone is completely convinced that they are a student named Salty from Liver, Ohio. When Stewart starts attending the Junior Office Supply Enthusiasts Club after school, Sassy and Waldo are willing to give up their naps while they wait for him, especially since they think a club is a sandwich, and sanwhiches are always a good idea. They hang out in the gymnatorium (which goes by several different names!), run in circles, and attract the attention of other children who want to be in a club. Snacks are, of course, the most important thing, but when they find out that the other clubs are making floats (not root beer ones, unfortunately) for the Founders Day celebration, they start putting theirs together, complete with Food Launcher. The parade has some rough edges, but it does bring Arden and her a foster dog, Jeff, closer together. I'm definitely looking forward to Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go on a Class Trip, which comes out 28 May 2019!
Strengths: Oh, my. This made me laugh so much! If it's not squirrels being dislodged from trees with tennis balls, it's the Office Supply Club doing interpretive dance with sticky notes, or "pepperoni hot dog fun" (which sounds like the best reason for a club EVER!). Sassy and Waldo have very distinct voices that sound exactly what my dog would sound like if she could talk. Because she doesn't. Nor does she ever text my daughters using my phone. The pictures add another layer of hilarity-- read this one when no one else is around with plenty of tissues of handy to wipe away the tears of laughter!
Weaknesses: Should we be concerned that the dogs are in the school food cooler gnawing through the plastic on "hunks of cheese the size of a Yorkshire Terrier"? Nyah.
What I really think: My favorite thing to do with these is to hand them to stressed 8th graders. It always makes them smile. These are SO hysterically funny. Don't buy more Wimpy Kid replacements-- buy multiples of these instead!


  1. Hi, thanks for the reviews. The second one about the dogs sounds like a fun read. Love the title and the cover.

  2. Nice to see some funny books when so many are tackling serious issues these days.

  3. Enginerds and robots! definitely on my list of things to read. As are dogs in trench coats. These sound like perfect winter break reading!

  4. I'm so happy to hear more about EngiNerds. I'm looking forward to the release of book #2 and the introduction of a female character. Have a wonderful reading week!

  5. Boy do I ever need these two books. I've be chin deep in middle grade stories that read like junior soap operas. I'm ready for a good laugh. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’m reading a Two Dgs in a Trench Coat right now. I agree that it’s a hilarious series!

  7. Wow! Love your review of the Enginerds and robots. Adding to my list. And, who can resist dogs in trench coats.

  8. Funny is always good. I will check these out. Thanks for the reviews.

  9. I am looking forward to more from the Enginerds and as mentioned above, some new characters.

  10. I went straight to my library and checked out Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go To School as an ebook. I had to after reading your review of Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Start a Club by Accident. Thanks for the heads up about both of these books Karen.