Friday, February 19, 2016

Fuzzy Mud By Louis Sachar|Review

Fuzzy Mud
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on August 4th, 2015
Genre: Middle Grades Fiction
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover

From the author of the acclaimed bestseller "Holes, " winner of the Newbery Award and the National Book Award, comes a new middle-grade novel with universal appeal. Combining horror-movie suspense with the issues of friendship, bullying, and the possibility of ecological disaster, this novel will intrigue, surprise, and inspire readers and compel them to think twice about how they treat others as well as their environment. "Be careful. Your next step may be your last." Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined. In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.

My Thoughts

A quick shortcut through the woods was all fifth grader, Tamaya Dhilwaddi, was expecting after her seventh-grade neighbor, Marshall Walsh, altered their usual sidewalk stroll home. Conveniently concealing the real reason for the unexpected detour, Marshall could care less about Tamaya's feelings or wellbeing. Angry at the new kid, Chad, and his ridiculous and outrageous stories, Marshall feels completely alone as his friends prefer Chad's lies over his company. When Chad appears along their route in the woods, it doesn't take long for the situation to turn. Equipped with the wilderness around her, Tamaya scoops up what she believes to be mud with a fuzzy coating and catapults it at Chad's face, unaware of the dangers she had just created. The following day, red welts and blisters replace Tamaya's skin where the mud had once been. A tingling sensation in her hand alters Tamaya that things are not as they seem, especially when Chad is reported missing. I had never read anything by Sachar before so I was thrilled to receive this book! I was really intrigued by the synopsis mainly because I was curious what mud had to do with the story and why it was fuzzy. I really enjoyed how Tamaya's and Marshall's friendship was portrayed. At times, Marshall clearly thought of himself as Tamaya's babysitter. Other times, it was obvious how much cared about her, even if the two didn't get along. I enjoyed how brotherly and protective he was towards Tamaya because she always seemed like nothing to diminish her happiness. The kindness Marshall directs towards Tamaya begins to change the way she treats others. Faced with her own bullies, Tamaya knows when to sit back and when to fight. Her bravery inspires Marshall to question why the majority of his classmates refused to help him when they knew Chad was bullying him. Although the book was short, you really get to know a lot about each other three characters, which creates more depth and heart to the page.
I really enjoyed how it went back and forth between the Senate's conversations with the scientist who was responsible for the fuzzy mud. I was pleased that everything turned out well for each of the main characters and the entire world. It is a very interesting book that I definitely recommend reading over and over.

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