Wednesday, April 22, 2009
MUDSHARK by Gary Paulsen
MUDSHARK is a great addition to any Gary Paulsen collection. It's not the HATCHET adventure type, but rather one of the crazy, mad-cap mishap stories like HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME and LAWN BOY.
MUDSHARK is actually Lyle Williams. He got his name for his lightning speed and his incredible observation skills. These are skills he honed while keeping an eye on Kara, Sara, and Tara his triplet sisters. When they became mobile, life became one accident avoidance after another.Most of Mudshark's skills are put to use helping his friends at school. He has a certain knack for finding anything that goes missing. The main adventure, in what I hope is Paulsen's first in a series of Mudshark adventures, is locating the school's mysteriously missing erasers. Yes, gradually every eraser in the school has disappeared.
The cast of characters in MUDSHARK is quite colorful. There's a talking parrot in the library, a easily excitable English teacher, a culturally educated custodian, and a "free-range" gerbil just to name a few. I especially enjoyed the principal's announcements that opened each chapter. His running commentary on some sort of out-of-control situation in the faculty restroom was a hoot!
Aimed at an audience of 8-12 year olds, MUDSHARK is one of those fabulous Paulsen books that can be enjoyed by anyone from a beginning chapter book reader to a senior citizen who remembers what it's like to be a kid. At only 83 pages long, MUDSHARK is a quick way to pass the time and enjoy a laugh or two.