Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Is it the End? Ask Total.

As Christmas approaches, Timmy is ready to give up his detective business, but he has one last mission: to help Total find his brother. He's also not entirely happy to be living with Doorman Dave, since his mother married him. When he is assigned a film project for class, Timmy goes into full egotistical mode and writes a script all about himself. He is challenged by Molly, who thinks the script is not happy enough, and Tom John, who is made director by the teacher and who disagrees with Timmy's artistic vision. While searching for a bar where he can stage a scene from the book, Timmy encounters his birth father, with whom he last had a less than successful encounter in Florida. The movie is one train wreck after another, and working on it puts Timmy at odds even with his best friend Rollo. After much faxing and investigation, Timmy does manage to locate Total's brother, and soon the bear is leaving. Can Timmy survive the combined stress of keeping his father's location a secret, dealing with the school play, and losing his trusted (if potentially imaginary) companion?

Good Points
Filled with jokes, odd names, and improbably situations, the Timmy Failure books are fun romps into the world of the unpredictable. Even after reading all seven, I'm still not entirely sure if Total is a real polar bear, or just something Timmy has made up! Readers who enjoy the vaguely film noir style of Rylander's The Fourth Stall, Hale's Chet Gecko mysteries and Ferraiolo's The Big Splash will revel in Timmy's attempts at running a detective agency, and his egomaniacal style complements this nicely.

The real draw for many readers will be Pastis' illustrations, which are similar in style to his Pearls Before Swine comic strips. This is one series that my students who won't read anything but Wimpy Kid books have been eagerly checking out.

While not a personal favorite of mine (IS the polar bear real? Seriously, this is a big problem for me! Plus, the weird names always bug me.), this series is a great addition to the list of middle grade Notebook Novels that includes Berger's Lyttle Lies, Tashjian's Einstein the Hamster books, and Ignatow's Popularity Papers.
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
Click is the heroic story of a young girl who...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
The last place on earth Taylor Sorenson wants to be...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Aiden is the son of a fisherman on the south...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
New Kid
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Watch Hollow
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Giant Days
Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Unteachables
The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tales from the Inner City is a collection of incredibly...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gamer Army
After Rogan Webber levels up yet again on his favorite...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The world tilted for Elodee this year, and now it’s...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Right as Rain
It’s been almost a year since Rain’s brother Guthrie died,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Charlie, Mac, and Maria managed to rescue the Project Chimera...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bravelands #3: Blood and Bone
Set in the African savannah and told from three different...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) (#5)
Since Tom forgets everything, it’s not surprising that he forgot...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Parasite Life
 
4.7
"Jane is stuck in a creepy old house with her invalid mother. She has no idea why her mother is..."
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
 
3.0
"This is a graphic novel adaptation of a real teen's story being bullied online. What worked: This is sure..."
When Fall Breaks
 
3.8
"Kaitlyn is living the perfect country life with her family in Northern California. She is a great student, swimmer, and..."
Hearts Unbroken
 
N/A
"There are a lot of entry-points to the storylines in Cynthia Leitich Smith's Hearts Unbroken. I recommend this book especially..."
Ray Vs the Meaning of Life
 
4.5
"Ray must figure out the meaning of life in order to be the beneficiary of his late grandmother’s will. At..."
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
 
5.0
"Taylor Sorenson is a typical rebellious teen of 1968, sneaking out of his posh apartment to hang out with friends..."
Right as Rain
 
3.0
"Rain's family has experienced a tragedy-- her older brother was killed in a car accident. The mother thinks that the..."
 
3.0
"Elodee's family is struggling for reasons that aren't clear, and she and her twin sister Naomi are not getting along...."
With Malice
 
5.0
"I loved this book, it kept me thinking afterwards for days. "The truth is how you tell it," take that..."
IF I FIX YOU
 
5.0
"The book is more like a 4.5 but I am going to give it a 5 star read because the..."
Scream and Scream Again
 
5.0
"I found some stories to be a lot more scary or interesting than others but the whole book was enjoyable...."
Enchantée
 
4.0
"After the death of her parents to smallpox, Camille Durbonne struggles to get by with her younger sister Sofie. One..."
The Penderwicks at Last
 
5.0
"THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST is the last in the series of Jeanne Birdsall's books about the Penderwick family. In this..."
 
5.0
"Crocotta’s Hackles by Katharine E. Wibell is the third installment of the sweeping epic fantasy series, The Incarn Saga, about..."
Nia & The Numbers Game
 
5.0
"What readers are saying: Nia & the Numbers Game should be added to the required reading list for..."
Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms)
 
5.0
""Ever the Hunted" is an incredible YA fantasy with a touch of romance. The story begins with Britta, starving and..."
The Namarielle (Chronicles of Lashai Book 1)
 
5.0
"The story draws you in and keeps you right up to the end! I can’t wait for the next book...."
Bud, Not Buddy
 
4.7
"Bud not Buddy is awesome! im in year 9 and im reading it in school for an assignment. On the..."
How Do I Love Thee?
 
5.0
"HOW DO I LOVE THEE is a beautifully illustrated children's book that is based on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnet 43"...."