Reviews for Grateful Fred

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Unlikely superhero Melvin Beederman returns in this third installment. A new evildoer, "Joe the Bad Guy," and his random scheme of making evil clones of the lead-singer of the title band, are all that differentiate this from the first two Beederman stories. Cheesy superhero conventions and jokes abound; sometimes they're even funny. Pencil-sketch illustrations add style and humor. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 December

Gr 2-4 In this third series installment, child superhero Melvin and his assistant Candace are trying to figure out who has it in for the hot new band, The Grateful Fred. When someone sets off a bomb at a concert, it’s up to the two kids to find the culprit, a task somewhat hampered by Melvin’s difficulty with flying and Candace’s refusal to save the world before her math homework is done. Readers learn early on what the bad guy is up to, and the story line follows the hero’s and villain’s parallel stories until they finally meet. Rather than relying on mystery or action, the book attempts to capture its readers with wit sometimes more successfully than others. It is funny that Melvin can’t turn off his X-ray vision and has to look at everyone’s underwear, but overuse of stock phrases such as “faster than a speeding bullet” and “nick of time” wear thin. Sketchy black-and-white cartoons appear frequently throughout. Early chapter-book readers would do better to stick with Bruce Hale’s “Chet Gecko” (Harcourt) or Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” (Scholastic) series. Adrienne Furness, Webster Public Library, NY

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