Saturday, July 18, 2020

Elvin Link, Please Report to the Principal's Office

Dernavich, Drew. Elvin Link, Please Report to the Principal's Office
July 21st 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Elvin is frequently in trouble in school, since he lacks impulse control and is apt to do things like draw all over his desk in order to turn it into a space ship during a science discussion. When his teacher, Mrs. English, is knocked over on the playground and drops her ice cream cone, Elvin's sketching skills are put to use identifying the culprit, which turns out to be his best friend Carlos. Since Carlos is a fairly understanding guy, he doesn't hold it against his friend, and the two are soon investigating another mystery. Field day is coming up, and all of the students at the school will get either a gold or blue Field Day t shirt, but they have gone missing. This is further complicated by the fact that the shirts are donating by the family of the school bully, Peter Zorber, who is wont to give other students wedgies. So far, Elvin has escaped, but he doesn't want to anger the other student. While the investigation continues, Elvin and Carlos volunteer their skills at drawing to customize white t shirts that are being donated as a replacement. Elvin is also very concerned that he not embarrass himself during the Field Day the way he did the previous year, since his classmates didn't let him forget that he fell into Gatorade powder. Will Elvin be able to solve the mystery, make it through Field Day, and behave himself enough that he isn't required to attend summer school?
Strengths: This was a lightly humorous book that covered the end of the school year in an amusing way. Flipdisc sounds like a fascinating game, and I can see it catching on with young readers! Elvin, his older twin sisters, Carlos, the teacher and principal are all amusing characters. This was a good length and was fast paced, so should appeal to reluctant readers.
Weaknesses: I couldn't get a good feel for the accompanying illustrations, since the E ARC did  not include any of them. The inclusion of illustrations always makes books more popular for reluctant readers, and I wish I had been able to see just a couple of examples. Also, the solution to the mystery seemed a bit odd to me.
What I really think: This is a bit too young for my students, but might be a goo fit for an elementary collection where books like Harley's Charlie Bumpers or English's Carver Chronicles are popular.
Ms. Yingling

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