Monday, June 4, 2012

Wednesday's Child Is Full Of Woe

Expected Publication: August 14th, 2012
The Wednesdays
By: Julie Bourbeau
Random House Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780375868900

Max’s village is absolutely normal in every single way and on every single day—except Wednesday.
Most of the townsfolk shutter their windows and lock their doors to hide away from the many peculiar things that happen—things like cats getting stuck in the vacuum cleaner and birthday cakes meeting fiery and horrific ends. But Max is too curious for that, and so, breaking every rule in the village, he searches out the cause of all the Wednesday weirdness.
What he uncovers is a secret so devious—so dastardly and mischievous—that life as he knows it will never be the same. Max himself is not the same. Suddenly the mysterious little accidents so common on Wednesdays are happening to him on Thursdays, Fridays—even Saturdays!
What’s come over Max? And more importantly, is there any cure for a case of the Wednesdays?
Mystery, magic, mischief and monsters abound in this slightly fantastical story of a human kid who wants to stay that way.


   Max lives in a village that is completely average in just about every way - except on Wednesdays.  Everyone closes up their homes and they refuse to come outside again until it's Thursday, which means it's safe.  Bad things, strange, unexplainable things happen on Wednesdays - Max's brother getting his hair soaked in black shoe polish, the TV getting broken, Max's birthday cake meeting a fiery end.  But none of this can stop Max's curiosity, which leads him outside on a Wednesday, perilous though it might be.  This time curiosity catches up in a bad way, when Max gets a bad case of the Wednesdays that lasts throughout the week.  After an encounter with the actual, gargoyle-like creatures who cause the mischief Max begins to change physically.  Max tries to get the Wednesdays to tell him what's happening, but Two is in charge and he has plans for Max, really nasty plans...His parents send him to parapsychologist Dr. Conkle-Smoak, desperately trying to cure him before he becomes one of the Wednesdays forever.  Can Max and his friends Noah and Gemma figure out a way to block the Wednesdays from their town forever or is Max doomed to become one of them?  This book was an interesting mix of Roald Dahl-esque humor, quirky illustrations and a hero with some oddness and major heart.  I did enjoy the idea of an entire town closing up for the day because of gremlin-like mischief makers.  The Wednesdays themselves were interesting, all them once human and now varying degrees of horrible.  They all had numbers instead of names, which was little sad to me but very in keeping with the children's book M.O.  Dr. Conkle-Smoak was absolutely useless and completely hilarious so of course he was one of my favorite characters.  I liked the smooth progression of the plot and the resolution, which ended up being fairly creepy for a middle-grade fantasy book.  Overall it was a very amusing book with interesting, well written characters and a fresh story in a world where that is hard to come by.  My only complaint would really be the illustrations - they just didn't quite match what was in my head.

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is August 14th, 2012.*

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