Muddle school

Dave Whamond

Book - 2021

"Middle school is tough for Dave. He spends most of his time drawing and living in his own imaginative world. And he's terrified that his classmates will find out and think he's even weirder than they do already. But an extraordinary thing happens when Dave and his friend build a time machine for their science project. Dave travels back to the first day of school (or so he thinks) and is given the opportunity to do a complete reset. Can he do everything over again -- this time in ...the way he wishes he'd done the first time -- and erase all the embarrassing moments of the last few months? Could he actually become really and truly ... cool?"--

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Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–7—New kid Dave finds himself the target of bullies, rouses the ire of his teachers, and is embarrassed when his crush on Lisa becomes public knowledge. But what if Dave and his friend Chad could build a time machine and start over again? Drawing from his own experience, Whamond explores adolescent angst and the turmoil of middle school. The two-tone, blue and white illustrations are reminiscent of comic strips. The book is a quick read, with easy-to-follow text, dominated by internal monologues from Dave. But while readers may initially be drawn in by the premise of time travel, they may be disappointed in the execution—time travel isn't introduced until late in the narrative and wraps up quickly. Dave and his family are white. The illustration style doesn't stand out, and the story will feel familiar to many readers—another middle school graphic novel based on the author's life, about a less-than-popular, comic-drawing kid finding his voice. VERDICT Whamond doesn't tread any new ground, but libraries looking for more non-series graphic novels featuring male protagonists may be interested in adding this to an existing collection alongside more substantial titles like Jerry Craft's New Kid and Kwame Alexander's The Crossover.—Aryssa Damron, DC P.L., Washington, DC Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Resigning himself to dorkdom while working on a time machine for the science fair at his new school, Dave gets the brilliant idea to go back in time to redo all the dumb, embarrassing things he did so he can actually become cool. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An artistic new kid navigates life at middle school.Dave doesn't have high hopes for himself at his new school in a town called Muddle. But he has no idea just how bad it will be. Public bullying. His secret crush revealed. And then that snot bubble . . . No, things aren't going well. But while building a time machine for the science fair, Dave gets an idea. What if he goes back in time, and has a redo? Could he turn everything around? Could he actually become . . . cool?A hilarious tonic for every adolescent dealing with humiliation, discomfort, awkwardness --- a.k.a. middle school!

Review by Publisher Summary 3

For every adolescent who's ever believed they're all alone in their misery, here's a hilarious graphic novel about a new kid awkwardly trying to navigate the social pressures of making friends, dealing with crushes, avoiding bullies --- a.k.a. middle school!Dave doesn't have high hopes for himself on his first day at a new school in a new town called Muddle. But he has no idea just how bad things are going to be. Getting knocked into a mud puddle by a trio of bullies. Having his secret crush revealed to the entire math class. And then that snot bubble ... No, Dave is totally not killing it at Muddle School. He may just have to resign himself to dorkdom, content with drawing in his sketchbook to deal with life. But then Dave begins working on a time machine for the science fair and he gets a brilliant idea. What if he goes back in time to that first day of school? What if he has a redo, and avoids doing all the dumb and embarrassing stuff he did? Could that turn everything around for him? Could Dave actually become ... cool?Multiple-award-winning writer, illustrator and cartoonist Dave Whamond's laugh-out-loud funny and irreverent graphic novel is based on his own experiences in middle school, complete with some of his childhood musings and drawings included in the pages. Ultimately, it's a positive story with a relatable and lovable main character that encourages readers to believe in themselves --- including their own weirdness! --- and pursue their dreams. The graphic novel format and visual hilarity are perfect for engaging reluctant readers. This book offers character education lessons in adaptability and perseverance, and spot-on lessons in self-awareness.