Tuesday, February 15, 2011
A Whole Nother Story
Soup, Dr. Cuthbert. 2010. A WHOLE NOTHER STORY. Ill. by Jeffery Stewart Timmins. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781599905181 [Suggested Grade Levels 4–7]
A WHOLE NOTHER STORY is reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS except the Cheeseman family unit consists of Mr. Ethan Cheeseman, three “smart, pleasant, witty, attractive, polite, and relatively odor free” children, Pinky their psychic dog, and Steve the snarky sock puppet.
Spies, the government, and other evil organizations are after the Cheeseman family. They are running for their lives to protect the machine that Mr. Cheeseman and his late wife invented that enables you to supposedly time travel. With the tragic loss of his wife, protecting the time machine is even more important. Mr. Cheeseman hopes one day crack to the code to make the machine work. Using the time machine is now the only way for the family to be reunited with Mrs. Cheeseman. Pinky, the family dog, has the unique ability to sense when evil people are on the way, thus giving the family time to flee. With each new move, the children take on new aliases to protect their identities, but the bad guys always catch up with them. The family maintains a good outlook on life and a sense of adventure even with the frequent uprooting of their lives. Dr. Soup also includes “unsolicited advice” throughout the book ranging from tips for safe driving to dealing with triskaidekaphobia.
Discuss what an alias is and why aliases were used in the story. Have students come up with their own aliases.
Other mystery books for children:
Bosch, Pseudonymous. THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET. ISBN 9780316113694
Snicket, Lemony. THE COMPLETE WRECK: SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS BOOKS 1-13. ISBN 9780061119064
By Jane Jergensen