Melonhead by Katy Kelly - Book Review

I picked up an advanced copy of Melonhead by Katy Kelly at a book sale and, although the book won't be released for three more days, I thought I'd rip right in:

Melonhead is not Adam Melon's real name, but it's the one he prefers. Adam is ten and trouble seems to find him, wherever he goes. He loves to invent things with his pal Sam so when the science teacher announces a reinvention contest.... Well, you can imagine Melonhead's excitement.

I was not familiar with Katy Kelly's work. I've been away from the elementary set for long enough to miss her Lucy Rose series, from which Melonhead (aka: Adam) is an offshoot. I really enjoyed Ms. Kelly's style. She reminds me of Beverly Cleary (how big of a compliment is that?). She uses a mixture of kidspeak and correct language to both engage and enlighten the reader. I'm surprised she's not getting bigger buzz. I see her website on Random House is also a bit sparse (update 7/09 - not so anymore), but you can read first chapters there. I think educators, parents and children's literature folks would be well served to investigate the Lucy Rose series (I dropped by Barnes & Noble to compare them with Melonhead).

Where the Lucy Rose series is more aligned to the 8-11 year old girl, Ms. Kelly is aiming the Melonhead series toward the same age boy. This is good, as several studies have shown this age as where we begin to lose male readers and where a gap in stories for boys begins to appear.

Recommended for elementary classroom and library purchase and for students who like humorous tales set in real life.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction. Age: Elementary Independent Reader. Pages: 224.

Themes: Humor, Friendship, Strength of Character
Publisher: Delacorte. Date: March 2009. ISBN-10: 0385734093 / ISBN-13: 978-0385734097

Buy Melonhead HERE.

Katy Kelly lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and daughters. She has written for People Magazine, USA Today and US News & World report. Melonhead is her fifth book for children. You can learn more about her on her author's page or follow her on Twitter. She is available for school visits, info. here.
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for

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