Leon and the Spitting Image

nds Facts:
Date finished: 9-22-08
Author: Allen Kurzweil
Category: Children’s
Published: 2005
Pages: 320
Rating: 4/5

Basic Plot:
This is a story about a boy in fourth grade. And an ice maker that makes strange noises. And a teacher with a strange fetish for sewing. And a hotel full of animals. And … spit?

Leon’s life is complicated enough before he enters fourth grade and has to face a new and exceedingly strange teacher. His coordination isn’t so great, and at a progressive school that prizes nimble fingers, this means scary teacher reports. But slowly things improve with the ice maker, the teacher, the hotel. Then comes the spit and the biggest surprise and lesson of the year!

My assessment:
Fun, fun!! This was a delightful little book, nothing too take to seriously, just the right amount of lighthearted fun. Might make for a good read-along book for bedtime, actually.

Leon and his friends are solid kids, not the best or brightest, but exceedingly normal. Leon proves to be a bit of a leader as the story goes on, coming up with some of the more practical suggestions to the trio’s challenges. Leon was quite likable and believable, and I’m looking forward to seeing what his next adventure holds.

The story itself holds all the normal issues of elementary school – un-understanding teachers, difficult lessons, adults who don’t tell you everything, bullies. Which made the whole semi-supernatural spit thing a little weird in context. It wasn’t a fantasy story by any means, but the spit certainly took it out of the realm of every day. Be prepared for your kids to be hawking some good loogies after reading this one.

Get Leon and the Spitting Image at Amazon.com.

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