Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar is not the kind of book I would typically pick up. It looked like more of an adventure than anything else to me and I read more for character than plot. But this book is getting a ton of buzz and I LOVED Holes and Sachar's other books so I picked it up. Well, I was hooked on page 2 and am so glad I read it! What a great read!
The book is about Tamaya, a 5th grader. Her friend, Marshall walks home with her each day but one day, (due to a bullying-type incident), Marshall decides that they need to take a shortcut through the forbidden woods. Needless to say, it doesn't go well and Tamaya discovers something in the woods that will change their city.
The writing is fascinating as Sachar moves between Tamaya's story and excerpts from secret Senate Hearings. Sachar weaves this story together in a way that builds suspense and gets you to care about the characters.
I don't want to give lots away as I loved reading this story and seeing how it unfolded without knowing too much about it. My thinking is that this would be a fabulous read aloud for 5thish grade. So much to talk about in terms of choices, consequences, how we treat others, etc.
I also think this is the perfect book to hand to kids who love adventures, fantasy, science fiction, etc. I know that much of what I read is a more realistic, quiet, sad,hopeful type of reading and I love finding more books for readers who want more adventure. 5th grade seems to be a great age to introduce kids to science fiction/dystopia and this seems to be a good transition to that genre.
Really, one of my favorite reads of the year!