From the Publisher
There is nothing subtle here; silly puns and slapstick humor carry this broad farce. Maguire captures the social politics of middle schoolers, and conveys the message that cooperation rather than cliques, solves problems. School Library Journal
The tone throughout is characteristically deadpan, the humor thoroughly sophisticated...maintains a quirky freshness that fans and new readers alike will welcome.
Both newcomers to the series and long-time fans will enjoy this book and look forward to upcoming installments.
With a digressive plot, ridiculous character names, cornball gags and insult-peppered dialogue, Three Rotten Eggs feels like the transcription of a week's worth of improvisational bedtime tales told by a slightly crazy uncle.
The New York Times Book Review
The fifth book in Maguire's "Hamlet" series features three genetically altered chickens, a new bully in town, an ongoing rivalry between the boys and the girls in Miss Earth's class, and a lot of laughs. It all starts when Professor Wolfgang Einfinger gets pulled over for speeding, claiming his briefcase has been stolen by a motorcyclist and the security of the nation is dependent on catching the thief. These eggs, part of a plot by the corporation Geneworks to reverse evolution, are thought destroyed when a bolt of lightning strikes the motorcycle. Three self-declared class outsiders find the eggs during a school charity egg hunt and decide to hatch them. Bully Thud Tweed, wannabe leader Lois Kennedy the Third, and immigrant Salim Bannerjee get more than they bargained for when the eggs hatch and the chickens start breathing fire. Miss Earth's class conspires to hide the truth when Professor Einfinger comes back to town to recover the chicks. Three Rotten Eggs reads like a combination of Shakespeare and Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School. The residents of Hamlet, Vermont, are ridiculous yet loveable, and adults will enjoy the puns Maguire uses in his characters' names. Through humor, Maguire brings about important lessons like nature versus nurture, honesty among friends, and getting what one deserves. 2002, Clarion Books,
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This fifth in the series continues to recount the rivalry between the girls, the Tattletales, and the boys, the Copycats, of Miss Earth's class in rural Vermont. It's an eventful spring for them, with a bullying new student, Thud Tweed; a Spring Egg Hunt; and three genetically altered eggs that hatch fire-breathing chicks. A company called Geneworks is attempting to reverse evolution to create a large, unquestioning workforce that can be rented out at great gain. While seven of the genetically altered eggs, tucked in a briefcase, are en route to researchers at Dartmouth College, a member of Mother Nature's Avengers steals the briefcase just before his motorcycle is struck by lightning. Unbeknownst to anyone, three of the eggs survive, and they are discovered by three of Miss Earth's students during the egg hunt, a competitive fund-raiser for a new fire engine. Miss Earth's class wins, but then is disqualified for lying and cheating. To redeem themselves, the students join together to raise money by putting on a concert by wildly popular country-and-western singer Petunia Whiner, who just happens to be Thud's mother. There is nothing subtle here; silly puns and slapstick humor carry this broad farce. Maguire captures the social politics of middle schoolers, and conveys the message that cooperation, rather than cliques, solves problems. Of the three chicks, one dies, but two remain, one in captivity and one on the loose in the wild. Will they turn up in the next Hamlet Chronicle? Fans of the series will be anxiously anticipating the next delightful romp.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Genetically engineered chicken eggs provide the narrative motor for this, the fifth, entry in the "Hamlet Chronicles," as Miss Earth's fifth-grade class lurches into spring. The eggs in question, stolen by an activist group from a lab outside of Boston, arrive in town on the same day as Thaddeus "Thud" Tweed, a student who challenges even the saintly Miss Earth's sense of equilibrium. "I've tried every kind of schooling for Thaddeus except prison," his mother tells Miss Earth, "and I'd try that if he were old enough to qualify." Thud rapidly upsets the delicate balance of power between the Copycats and the Tattletales, founding the Three Rotten Eggs with Salim Bannerjee and Lois Kennedy III, disaffected former members of the established clubs, when they discover three mysterious eggs during Hamlet's annual Spring Egg Hunt. Tongue stuffed firmly in cheek, Maguire (Four Stupid Cupids, 2000, etc.) deftly weaves together the strands of his story, from the hapless Professor Einfinger's odyssey through small-town Vermont to recover the eggs, to the hatching of the extraordinary chicks (christened "Flameburpers A, B, and C"), to a benefit concert given by the legendary Petunia Whiner ("Baby Needs Burping"), and on to the slow emergence of Thud's better self as well as Salim's and Lois's explorations of the nature of friendship. The tone throughout is characteristically deadpan, the humor thoroughly sophisticated; after five installments one might think the formula would wear thin, but, the title notwithstanding, this offering maintains a quirky freshness that fans and new readers alike will welcome. (Fiction. 9-13)