Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

Featured
 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
2847   0
Write Review
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
Age Range
10+
Release Date
February 26, 2013
ISBN
9780763660505
Buy This Book
      
Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into "Stanfurd" that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further — or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment — making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Delusion Has Never Been Funnier

I don’t even know where to begin with Stephan Pastis’s “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made,” and that’s such a good thing! There are too many wonderful things about this book to count, so in true Timmy fashion, I’ll just write down my observations that stood out the most to me.

“Timmy Failure” follows eleven-year-old Timmy who has founded his own detective agency with his polar bear best pal, Total. Yes, Failure is Timmy’s last name, but that doesn’t stop him from reaching for multi-billion dollar success. Timmy and Total take on clients at Total Failure, Inc. to solve local mysteries in the hopes of growing into an international detective agency.

What stands out the most about this book is the humor. Each short chapter is essentially a joke, moving on to the next chapter after the punch line is delivered. Most of these revolve around Timmy’s delusional confidence and convoluted logic. Teleconferences with his mother (and potential employee) at the kitchen table and accusations of guilt toward clearly innocent people had me laughing harder than I have in Middle Grade in a long time.

What’s beautiful about this humor is that it is used to soften the blow of potentially dramatic events in Timmy’s life. His mother is making so little money that they have to move out of their home and into a small one-bedroom apartment. Timmy’s father is also absent from their family, and Timmy’s mom has started dating a new man that Timmy scathingly calls the “bowling turkey.” Timmy handles these problems by focusing on his cases, giving young readers ideas on alternatives to sulking and lashing out when obstacles are thrown their way.

My absolute favorite part of Pastis’s book is the mystery behind Total the polar bear. It’s never quite made clear whether Total is in fact a real polar bear that pals around with Timmy, or if Total is an imaginary friend Timmy has created during this difficult time in his life. There are references that Timmy is playing games and that Total isn’t real, but then there are also times where Total’s actions and environment are so intricately described that you think he must be real, and this is just a world in which polar bears hanging with children isn’t that odd. It feels very reminiscent of the whole Stewie debate in “Family Guy” of whether or not anyone can hear baby Stewie talking besides Brian, the family’s dog.

Whether or not Total is real, his Rice-Krispies-Treat-and-trash-eating antics are hilarious and the perfect balance to Timmy’s endearingly delusional outlook on life. “Timmy Failure” is no failure at all, and I’m practicing my own detective skills right now to find out when the next book will be released.

Good Points
Hilarious jokes that never disappoint.
Funny approach to life obstacles that young readers can learn from.
An interesting is he/is he not real debate regarding a polar bear sidekick.
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Beware the polar bear


Timmy lives with his mother and his polar bear, Total, and is obsessed with his budding detective agency, Total Failure. (His last name is Failure.) He hopes to grow his business so that it makes a lot of money so that his mother can stop stressing about bills, but he is not getting many jobs since the evil Corinna Corinna is undercutting his business, aided by her father's vast wealth. Timmy has some helpful people in his life, like the playground aide, Dondi, his mother, and his friends Rollo and Molly, even though he doesn't like them. At least they are better than Mr. Crocus, his evil old teacher, Crispin Flavius, his mother's boyfriend, and even Total, who cause enough destruction that he is sent to a zoo. Timmy doesn't do well in school because he is more interested in his agency, his mother's hours are cut and they have to move to an apartment, and his mother's Segway has gone missing.

Good Points
I love Pearls Before Swine and was definitely looking forward to this. The illustrations are great, and I think students will be quick to pick it up. Fabulous beginning: "It's harder to drive a polar bear into somebody's living room that you'd think."
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents, and Toilets
Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Weird School Fast Facts: Space, Humans, and Farts
Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I am Alex Hunt, daughter of the famous Archaeological Hunt...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Simon Barnacle is falling apart. Literally. His body is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Serafina and the Splintered Heart
The storms are coming... Something has happened to Serafina. She...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
The Little Book of Little Activists
A celebration of political activism by America's youngest citizens--our children....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Together at Midnight
What does it really mean to be kind . ....
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fuecho Y Pablo
Pablo's attempt to get his best friend Ugly Cat a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Little i
A charming, suspenseful, and wholly original picture book about the...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Dragonfly Song
The girl has had many selves in her short life....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over
For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1)
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Murder Among the Stars
After being framed for attempted murder, Lulu Kelly has...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Christmas Stories
Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Somebody's Baby
Ever since Sloan won a reality singing competition, her...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Enhanced
Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Phoenix Descending (Curse of the Phoenix #1)
 
5.0
"Phoenix Descending was a really interesting fantasy novel filled with action, adventure and a strong female character. Tori Kagari's family..."
Genuine Fraud
 
3.3
"GENUINE FRAUD by E. Lockhart is a character-driven thriller that is told in reverse chronological order. In essence, the book..."
Together at Midnight
 
3.3
"A cute and bittersweet story of young love at the wrong time. The story: Kendall has just returned..."
The Thousandth Floor
 
4.0
"Everything about this book is so glamorous, dramatic, and intriguing. Right down to that stunning cover. Katharine McGee..."
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1)
 
3.3
"It took me a long time to finish Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, but overall, this book turned out to..."
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
 
5.0
"It took me awhile to really get into this book. I think a big part of it was that..."
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
 
5.0
"I finally got a chance to sit down and read this one and I was not disappointed. It definitely..."
The Girl in the Tower
 
4.7
"This follow up to The Bear and the Nightingale is just as stunning as its predecessor. We met Vasya as..."
When Dimple Met Rishi
 
3.3
"A contemporary YA romance—heavy on the romance—with an Indian-American take on the attraction of opposites. The story is told..."
It's Not Me, It's You
 
3.7
"'It's Not Me, It's You' by Stephanie Kate Strohm provides a unique and somewhat irregular look into the dynamics of..."
You're Weird: A Creative Journal for Misfits, Oddballs, and Anyone Else Who's Uniquely Awesome
 
5.0
"'You're Weird: A Creative Journal for Misfits, Oddballs, and Anyone Else Who's Uniquely Awesome' by Kate Peterson will allow anyone..."
The Riddle (Pellinor #2)
 
4.7
"THE RIDDLE by Alison Croggon is the second in the author's Pellinor series, and it picks up right where book..."
A Taxonomy of Love
 
3.3
"A story of love that spans a childhood. The story: Spencer is a lonely boy with Tourette's when he..."
The Selection Coloring Book
 
4.0
"Selection fans get excited! THE SELECTION COLORING BOOK, based on the series by Kiera Cass, is getting ready to celebrate..."
The Memory of Things
 
4.0
"When I first found out that THE MEMORY OF THINGS by Gae Polisner was set in the immediate days following..."
Mean Girls
 
4.0
"MEAN GIRLS (2004), the cult film phenomenon starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Tina Fey, is now a..."
Dune (Dune Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
"Its a classic. Not much more I can add."
On A LARP
 
3.3
"In ON A LARP, Sid is known to be a hacker after a past school prank, and she's a good..."
Code Name Verity
 
4.3
"The year is 1943. The setting locations are England, and Nazi-occupied France. The book is told in a..."
Good and Gone
 
3.7
"Road tripping with a purpose, Good and Bad is a journey, the reader won't soon forget. Lexi's brother,..."