Wilmer Dooley wants nothing more than to be a scientist just like his dad, who became famous for inventing SugarBUZZZZ!, which is used to make cupcakes, drinks, and puddings. According to Mr. Dooley, the most important thing a scientist can do is to observe, and so his sixth-grade son does just that.
Lately, though, Wilmer's more interested in observing pretty Roxie McGhee than he is in noticing what the teacher has to say. But when kids at school start to turn colors and burst with energy, Wilmer can't help but pay attention. Racing against his arch-enemy, Claudius Dill, Wilmer searches for a cure, hoping to earn the prestigious school science award . . . all the while trying to find a way to win Roxie's affections.
The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School by Fowler DeWitt is a fun, fun, fun book of Wilmer's observations and experiments as he tries to figure out why all his friends are turning colors. It's also about friendship, first crushes, and learning how to cooperate with others.
Boys, especially, will love Wilmer's gross experiments, and everyone will laugh at the Dooley's home life and the goofy foods they eat. I loved the pencil drawings by Rodolfo Montalvo and the mystery of the disease that was running rampant through Mumpley Middle School. Teachers, parents, and book club coordinators will the love the many talking points sparked by the story.
Recommended for middle-grade readers (and for those of us who are young at heart).
For more about the book, check out the Simon & Schuster website, where you'll find a funny essay by Fowler DeWitt (aka Allan Woodrow) that tells the story behind the book. Also be sure to visit Woodrow's blog where you'll learn something about the mysterious guy who calls himself DeWitt.
Here's the book trailer, which shows some of the great illustrations you'll find in The Contagious Colors:
The Giveway: Thanks to Simon & Schuster, I'm able to offer one of my readers with a U.S. mailing address his or her very own copy of The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School and a unique cure for the Contagious Colors disease (colorful, customized bandages)! Don't miss out on this great prize pack (click the image to see it full size).
All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner using a random number generator on September 18. After the winner has been confirmed, I'll remove all personal data from my computer. Remember, you need a U.S. mailing address to be eligible for the drawing. Good luck!