Pottymouth and Stoopid

PATTERSON, James & . illus. by Stephen Gilpin. 336p. Little, Brown/Jimmy Patterson. Jun. 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780316349635.
Gr 3–5—David and Michael are two typical students who have been tagged with terrible nicknames, which have moved with them from grade to grade. Their experiences with bullying are shared through David's first-person account, which is filled with cartoon-style illustrations throughout. David and Michael are understood only by David's grandfather. The boys' bond with Grandpa Johnny is heartwarming. Problems with divorced parents and foster parents are addressed but only in passing. Many of the boys' attempts to impress classmates are chuckle-worthy, and readers will laugh at their made-up words and cheer on these two likable boys and their friend Anna Brittannica. Unlike other books about bullying, this one offers alternative solutions to handling everyday situations—for instance, the boys often calmly respond, "Uh huh, right back atcha!" The simple lessons will speak to bullies and bullied alike. The title may deter some adults, but kids will embrace the silliness and enjoy this relatable tale.
VERDICT A solid addition to collections serving upper middle grade and middle school readers. Hand to fans of goofy, realistic school stories.

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