The Rat Brain Fiasco #1 (Splurch Academy)

Gr 3—6—Cody Mack has been sent to the principal's office yet again because of his troublesome behavior. This time, instead of detention, he is introduced to Dr. Farley, a world-famous specialist in naughty children. The next day Cody is shipped off to Splurch Academy, a boarding school that is famous for its sinister plans to mold boys into becoming "model citizens." To his surprise, the school is nothing more than a haunted-house nightmare run by crazy-foolish monsters. Cody runs into enemies that include mummy librarians, living skeletons, devil dogs, and squeaky rats. He also makes friends who try to help him escape the Farley Method experiment, for Cody will soon be the first student at Splurch Academy to test the Rebellio-Rodent Recipronator, which swaps the naughty part of the brain with a rat's brain. This hybrid novel incorporates black-and-white illustrations in a comic-book format. The story contains harmless malevolence and revenge, which will keep readers coming back for more. The imaginative writing and goofy plot will attract reluctant readers. With a tongue-in-cheek style and hilarious cartoons, the laugh-out-loud story is sure to creep off the shelves—Krista Welz, North Bergen Public Library, NJ

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