SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

Today’s Saturday morning selection, Is That A Sick Cat in Your Backpack? is by Todd Strasser.  It is the second book in “The Tardy Boys Series” (No, that is not a typo.) published in 2007. The target audience for the book is ages 7-10, according to the author’s hilarious “Author’s Note and Warning.” Strasser explains that “Tardy Boys” is a two book series, the first book titled, Is That A Dead Dog in Your Locker?  He allows kids to read Sick Cat as a stand-alone, reminding them that he, “the author,” at the end of book one, mentions “The Meowians from the Planet Meow in the Feline Galaxy.” He goes on to tell readers, “The Meowians have changed their name and the name of their planet.”

The cover is the biggest hook of the book.  One of the boys is holding a scarf over his nose as “fumes” of smell arise from his school backpack. Greg Swinson, responsible for the cover art is amazing. The book opens with “The Missing Cat Mystery,” written in the form of a memo from” Commander Claw on Planet Hiss in the Feline Galaxy,” and the zanyness goes on from there. We meet The Tardy Boys: T.J., Wade and Leyton, coming home from a party.  The mystery builds raucously as a skinny, foul smelling, raggedy cat is delivered at night by a weird “person?” and becomes the source of their woe.  Other characters like Fibby Mandible and Barton Slugg make the boys’ lives miserable throughout the book.

I laughed until I gagged; I reached for the air freshener at times, and continued on.  It will delight seven to ten year old boys everywhere. If they read it with a friend, they will punch each other and giggle madly at the second adventure of The Tardy Boys.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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