Thursday, December 23, 2010

#bookaday -- Mary Lee's Pile #1

It's already a good first day of break -- I've finished my first #bookaday and I haven't even had a plate of Christmas cookies for breakfast yet!

I have to warn you that this review is going to be a little weird. First of all, because the book was (more than a little) weird, but also because this is one of those books where you can't help yourself, it's like being around people with a Texan or Swedish accent and all of a sudden you start talking with that accent yourself. This is all to say that my writing has been infected by M.T. Anderson's in

Agent Q, or the Smell of Danger (Pals in Peril series)
by M.T. Anderson
illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Simon and Schuster (Beach Lane Books), 2010
review copy provided by the publisher (and an extra bit of thanks for WHALES ON STILTS -- I fell head over heels in love after reading two chapters, took it to school and read those two chapters to my fourth graders, and wound up sending home 6 books from the series (checked out from the well-stocked public library branch near my home [YAY, LIBRARY!] with readers who appreciate irony and humor to enjoy during the winter break))

Don't you think? (seriously infected writing style, in case you lost my original train of thought)

So, since it would be impossible to explain the plot of this book, which, I think, is part of the point of these books, let it suffice to say that the cover illustration gives a pretty good idea of the pace of the plot and some of its details. One thing you can't tell from the picture is that those are sentient lobsters. Yes, this is the kind of book that has sentient lobsters in it. And monks from a time in the history of Delaware (not the Delaware with which you're familiar) when there has been an embargo on vowels. And rivers in Delaware that conceal giant amoebas (which allows for a diagram of an Amoeba proteus supergiganticus labeled helpfully with front, back, inside, outside, and pie hole). And chase scenes through the sewers of Wilmington. (It's a spy thriller, you see.)

As I go through all the pages I have tabbed down, places where I laughed out loud (the restaurant named the Friar Tuck-In; the monks who don't mind endless songs like "The Song That Never Ends" because it's kind of like their chanting, anyway; the defense of librarians on page 150 [you might need to look that one up and read it yourself]; the spy-based reality television show at the end...) I realize there's nothing for it except to say,

WHAT IS IT WITH M.T. ANDERSON AND THE STATE OF DELAWARE???? (partial answers might or might not be found at this amazing website)

Happy #bookaday! I'm off to eat that plate of Christmas cookies for breakfast!


  1. I loved Whales on Stilts. I can't wait to read this one. Carry on.
    Merry Christmas.

  2. Oh, I need this book! I read the previous ones in the series, but your review made me long to revisit M.T. Anderson's Delaware! The books have the kind of humor that you can quote back and forth with a fellow fan and everyone else thinks you're nuts.


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