Review Detail

Kids Fiction 201
Awesome Crazypants Fun
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Marty Fontana and his mother move to a new town for her job, and have a house that belonged to a scientist, who left lots of dusty boxes in his wake. Marty is scared to start fifth grade, because he knows that the simplest missteps will ruin his entire year. Of course, he manages to do everything that was on his list of things NOT to do-- he introduces himself to the class as Farty Montana, and the day just gets worse from there. He ends up at lunch at the dreaded Zeroes Table, right under the watchful eye of the cafeteria monitor, with other "weird" kids Ralph and Skyler, All three like to play the video game Sheriff Turbo-Karate, so they bond over that. When Marty has the two to his house, they find a robotic dog, and manage to get themselves in big trouble with Dr. Crazypants, an inventor of evil formulas who has a mansion that Awesome Dog manages to trash. Even after Marty and his friends apologize, Dr. Crazypants tries to get his revenge in all sorts of wacky ways. The worst case scenario comes to be when the villain ingests both Cutie-Pie and Tons of Tush potions and turns into a rabbit with twenty-foot-tall butt cheeks. Will the friends, along with their robotic dog, be able to save the day?
Good Points
Awesome Dog manages to follow the tried and true formula of Captain Underpants while bringing some fresh twists to it. There are the fearless heroes with powers (this time acquired through the robotic dog), a goofy villain bent on destruction, lots of chase scenes, and ultimately, a vanquishing of evil... for the time being. Readers will be glad to know that a sequel, Awesome Dog 5000 vs. Mayor Bossypants is due out in March 2020.

Fifth grade has a lot of friend drama that crops up at school, so Marty's fear of his new school is one that many young readers will share. I'm not a fan of calling characters "dorks", but the fear of being excluded is a real one, and the fact that Marty does find people with whom he has a lot in common will reassure readers who struggle with making friends.

I'm a big fan of robotic dogs like the Sony Aibo or the new Tombot, so Awesome Dog's antic were fun for me to read. Of course, such an awesome pet needs a super evil villain to challenge him, and Dr. Crazypants (while politically incorrect) is a lot of fun.

Adults will no doubt pick apart this notebook style novel, but readers who enjoyed Jay Cooper's Spy Next Door, Barnett's Mac B.: Spy Kid, or the goofy goodness of Falatko's Two Dogs in a Trench Coat will laugh themselves silly over Marty's antics in this new series.
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