FICTION

Sandwich Shenanigans

Jolly Fish Pr. (What Happened?). Sept. 2019. 120p. Tr $27.13. ISBN 9781631633157; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781631633164.
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Gr 2-4–It’s the day of the STEAM fair, and the students of Mr. Hargrove’s class are excited to show off their projects. Among them are bridges, an alligator head, an animal collage, and the biggest sandwich anybody has ever seen. It’s a beauty, and the kids are in awe—until it goes missing! Who took it? A tiger? Aliens? A jealous person? The dialogue in this story feels forced; it frequently tries to evoke excitement. There are many unnecessary sound effects, and each exclamation is exaggerated. The diverse group of characters includes students from Native American, Latinx, African American, and Indian backgrounds. However, all of the characters narrate in the same highly energized yet monotonous tone. Unfortunately, the illustrations do not support or boost the story, nor are there enough of them. Equally bewildering are all of the references to plots of fictional sci-fi movies and names of action figures. So much detail is put into these descriptions that they detract from the primary plot. The time line and point of view are inconsistent as well.
VERDICT Readers looking for a good mystery will likely be disappointed. Even though the ending provides some closure, it is poorly written and confusing. Not a recommended purchase.

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