Formerly a sidekick (in Kelly's popular Lucy Rose series) and now a star in his own right, Melonhead will leave readers laughing and longing for more.
The Washington Post
Kelly, author of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing About Me and its sequels, launches an appealing, boy-centric series starring Lucy Rose's friend, Adam Melon (dubbed Melonhead). The hyperkinetic nine-year-old's knack for finding trouble surfaces immediately, when his foot gets stuck in a tree and he must be rescued by firefighters ("My mom said my shoe is ruined. I told her, 'Not to me.' I nailed it to the wall over my bed so I will always have the memory"). Though Melonhead's subsequent conundrums are (slightly) less dramatic, they are no less engaging or energetic. Adam's goofy sense of humor and his comic interactions with his parents, teachers and best friend Sam (the two are amateur inventors) are just right for the target audience. "I love the feeling of having a pet in the house," he says of the snake he's hiding from his parents. "Two pets, actually, even though as soon as Cobra has his next lunch, I'll be back to one." The book has an excellent shot at winning over reluctant readers. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
Adam Melon, Melonhead to his friends, brings his own brand of logic to his endeavors. The 10-year-old concocts grand plans that never quite come off as intended. His climb up a tree requires the Jaws of Life to free him, a first for the Washington, DC, fire department. His essay on head lice wins him the Homework of the Week award and his mother's consternation. When Adam and his friend Sam catch a snake, Sam's baby sister carts it around at night and drops it in her parents' bed. Adam struggles with the right idea for his science project; his experiments with plaster of Paris (never pour it down a drain), diapers, and mosquitoes produce typical Melonhead disasters. The final invention will entertain and educate readers. This is the first book in the series, a spin-off of the author's "Lucy Rose" books (Random). It is laugh-out-loud funny, rivaling Stink and Fudge in its troublemaker quotient. Adam never quite understands consequences until it is too late, but young readers will see potential trouble ahead while appreciating his ingenuity. The capital setting and a unique cast of secondary characters round out this strong chapter-book offering.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT
In this spin-off from the Lucy Rose series, Lucy's friend Melonhead, an adventurous, clever nine-year-old, takes center stage. Trouble is, he isn't always forthcoming and is often heedless of the possible repercussions of his actions. He goes from being the school hero-for getting his foot stuck in a tree-to a bumbler and back again. While he and his buddy, Sam, create dud after dud for the school contest called "Reinvention," they perpetrate a series of minor calamities (like plaster all over the bathroom) and secretly harbor a snake and a mouse. Discovery is unavoidable, though a stern conversation seems scant punishment, and Melonhead and Sam are able to combine all their recent experience to produce a crafty invention. The breezily paced text flows with wit and loads of jocular dialogue. Melonhead learns a thing or two from his mistakes, but it may give adults pause when he sums his scientific discoveries up with, "Umpteen wrongs equals one right." (illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 23, 2009
"Adam's goofy sense of humor and his comic interactions with his parents, teachers and best friend Sam ... are just right for the target audience."
Read an Excerpt
Yesterday I was a regular ten-year-old boy. Today I'm the star of four Washington, D.C., TV stations. Channel 5 showed my picture with the words: Tragedy Averted. My friend Lucy Rose says averted is the same as avoided. I knew it would be. I have had a lot of aversions in my life.
This one started when I was climbing up Madam and Pop's magnolia tree with a rope in my teeth. It was for hoisting my best friend, Sam. Our plan was to get high enough to leap onto the breezeway roof that connects Madam and Pop's house to their carriage house. That's the same as a garage. We were going to lie on our stomachs and terrorize people down below by calling out, "We're watching you," in wavy voices and then make creepy "heh-heh-heh" sounds like we are deranged. We've done it before and it's hilarious. People can't figure out where the voices are coming from. Sometimes they talk to the air and say, "You're not scaring me," but we are. Believe me. Once a lady blamed a man who was doing nothing but trying to get to the corner before the light turned red.
I could have taken the tree-free route to the roof by going in their front door, cutting through the morning room, then racing up the back staircase, into the bathroom, and out the window. I'm allowed because I am one of Madam and Pop's good friends. I met Madam last year when I was in her tree box collecting good-smelling weeds for my deodorant-making experiment that was supposed to make me rich. I could tell that she was a friendly lady because she came rushing outside waving at me with both arms. I told her, "Don't worry. You don't have to pay me for pulling up this scraggly junk."
It was a big shock to me when she said she planted it on purpose. "Our yard is going to be on the Capitol Hill House and Garden Tour next week," she said. Then she told me everything there is to know about the plant scraps that were in my hands.
"I am sorry," I said. "I never heard there was a plant called lavender. And who would ever guess since it's mostly green? Not me."
By the time we finished reburying roots we were friends and she said, "Drop by and see us sometime, Adam."
"It's a deal," I said.
I keep that deal three or four times a day. A lot of times I go to get a snack or to visit Lucy Rose, who is their granddaughter. She sleeps at their house when her mom is working late. Other times I go to help Pop. He's Madam's husband and he has tons of chores. That's how come I know how to patch window screens and caulk sinks and pick about 1,000 apricots in only one day. It was when we were apricot picking on the breezeway roof that Pop said, "Feel free to climb out our bathroom window and wander around out here on the roof anytime."
"Thanks," I said. "But I'd rather go by tree."
"Anyone would," Pop said.
He and I think alike.
But yesterday Sam said, "Let's take the bathroom window shortcut to save time."
"It won't take me seventeen seconds to shimmy up the tree," I said. "I need to practice the improved climbing method I invented after the old method overstretched my ribs and Dr. Stroud had to tape them back together."
"Explain this new method," Sam said.
"Step One: I stand on your shoulders," I said. "Step Two: I throw my arms around the fattest branch."
"Cheese, Louise," Sam said. "Your new sneakers are poking ditches into my collarbones."
"So sorry, Mata Hari!" I said.
One of our habits is making up rhymes that are like "See you later, alligator." Only ours are ten times better.
"I like the old method better," Sam said.
"I'm almost up," I said. "I'm hooking my legs around the branch."
Flipping right-side up is the hardest part. Sliding down the branch is the most stomach scraping. The rest is E-Z P-Z.
From the Trade Paperback edition.