11 December 2009

Review: The Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Chatterton

Sheldon McGlone lived a pretty ordinary life in Farrago Bay, Australia, even if his dad had died after being attacked by humpback whales. Everything was to change the day Sheldon met Theopilus Nero Hercule Sherlock Wimsey Father Brown Marlowe Spade Christie Edgar Allen Brain -- better known as The Brain.

When Sheldon agreed to be the sidekick for the self-proclaimed World's Greatest Detective (even at thirteen years old), he had no idea that The Brain was serious. One headline ("Biff Manly Tragedy! Body Found!") and one arrest later, and the boys are on the case.

In The Brain Finds a Leg, Martin Chatterton introduces us to a new team in the line-up of literary detectives. The case The Brain and Sheldon set out to solve has enough gruesome bits and action to keep the story real and enough humor and far-fetched science to keep us wanting more.

Situation Code Red with cherries on top: check. Butterflies in the stomach: check. About a klick out from the target perimeter. Sheldon didn't know how far a klick was, but he reckoned this looked about right. He didn't even know why he was using words like "perimeter," or "klick," or "check," but it seemed to help. (p. 158)

They say your life flashes in front of you when you know you are going to die. In Sheldon's case, all that flashed in front of him was the single thought: I don't want to die. (p. 189)
In a world of animals gone crazy and bad guys lurking in the shadows, can two young teens figure out who donnit? Both you and your middle reader will want to know.

Published by Peachtree Publishers, 2009
ISBN-13: 9781561455034
Challenges: 100+
YTD: 92
Source: Review copy (see review policy)
Rating: B+


Julie P. 12/11/09, 9:19 AM  

So you think these books appeal more to boys than girls? I love books that encourage kids that age to read!

Beth F 12/11/09, 9:35 AM  

Julie: I do think the book will appeal to boys more, but wouldn't want to discourage girls from reading it.

Margot at Joyfully Retired 12/11/09, 12:56 PM  

Yes, I can see these appealing to middle schoolers. It sounds like there would be enough "in" words and events in the books to make them very attractive. A nice break from the game boys.

bermudaonion 12/11/09, 3:35 PM  

Sounds like a fun book! I love the title!

Martin Chatterton 12/11/09, 3:35 PM  

I think it's a fair comment that the 'Brain' books appeal more to boys as they are 'plot-heavy' stories. I set out to write them as the kind of page-turners that I loved as a child. Having said that, the second book ('The Brain Full of Holes') sees Sheldon falling in love with a strong female character.

prashant 12/13/09, 1:38 PM  

I love books that encourage kids that age to read!

Work from home India

Alice Teh 12/15/09, 1:16 AM  

Ahhhh... here's the review of the book you included in Teaser Tuesday. This sounds like fun!

Michelle 12/16/09, 7:34 AM  

I enjoyed this book tremendously. I thought it had that right combination of quirk, humor and mystery that would keep middle graders (particularly reluctant boys) interested and enthralled enough to pick up a book and enjoy it.

S. Krishna 12/22/09, 10:12 AM  

I have been hearing so much about this book, but knew nothing about it - now I know! Thanks for the review.

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