5 stars (I loved it!).
Okay, so this is hilarious and delightful. The humor writing is top-notch, not merely zany or crazy like some middle-grade humor but subtle and surprising and *constant*. I mean it. I am in awe of how tightly written this book is.
I loved it as an adult. My third grader loved it. My older boys read it in a day. The first twist isn’t really surprising, but it’s not meant to be. It’s still funny.
Basically, for the uninitiated, the main character moves to Yawnee Valley, a city known mostly for its cows. He was established in the big city as the school prankster, and he hopes to keep that title here, even if he’d rather be anywhere else. But it appears someone else has already claimed the title: he shows up to his first day of school to find that someone has managed to get the principal’s car up the stairs of the school and has blocked the front doors with it.
It’s not really believable. Many of the characters and situations are larger than life. It doesn’t matter.
The illustrations are perfect, and they add to the appeal. But the audiobook is also excellent. I can’t decide which to recommend more. Maybe do both together?