Jimmy loves to read, and loves recommending books to his friends, especially his friend Maxine. He loves books SO MUCH that he has decided to make books himself. Of course, he will need an awesome factory in order to do this, which will take a lot of money, and this is hard to gather when you are in middle school. This doesn't stop Jimmy, though! He quickly writes stories, prints them out, and gets a copy made so that he can share it. His friend Rafe even does some illustrations. He tries several different ways to obtain funding for his venture, but gets laughed out of the bank even though the people there find his story amusing. Eventually, his friend Hailey introduces him to the wealthy Yingerlingers who finally realize what a brilliant idea Jimmy has, and help him make his dream come true. Jimmy's insistence on following his dreams also helps his parents to reduce their work hours and embrace their own passions and also provides books for kids that they will actually want to read!
Jeff Ebbeler's illustrations are a nice change from other illustrators Patterson has used, and hit the sweet spot between goofy and sophisticated for middle school. There are a lot of fun details in the pictures, and he does a great job of capturing the personalities of a wide range of characters. I especially like the way that he visually translates that changes that Jimmy's parents undergo.
Fans of Patterson's other middle grade novels will be vastly amused at the parade of characters from other titles that appear in Jimmy's world. Everyone from Jamie Grimm from the I Funny Books to Hailey from Word of Mouse shows up, although sometimes it's hard to tell which characters are from other titles or appear in real life. Are the Yingerlingers real, and if so, will they give my library money?
This book blurs the line between fiction and reality, and offers a humorous explanation for the new "jimmy" imprint being introduced by prolific author James Patterson. Jimmy's love for books is as intense as it is endearing, and his message to work hard to make one's dreams come true cannot be contested. Laugh Out Loud is a must read for fans of this author's many humorous and engaging middle grade novels.