Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done

illus. by author. 288p. (Timmy Failure Series). Candlewick. Feb. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763660512. LC 2013944145.
Gr 3–8—The too-smart-for-his-own-good kid detective is back for a second zany installment, along with his 1500-pound polar/bear business partner, Total. Timmy has big dreams for his crime-solving empire, fueled by his complete self-confidence, delusions of grandeur, and his assured win in a competition to find a stolen globe worth $500. But first, shenanigans are afoot and must be thwarted. Timmy is a wonderfully frustrating narrator. He is egotistical, oblivious to his own ineptitude, and blames any missteps on the shortcomings of others. Yet, as Timmy's grip on reality begins to weaken and his actions begin to alienate those around him, readers will nevertheless sympathize with his unraveling. Fans of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series (Abrams) or the "Big Nate" books (Andrew McMeel) will enjoy the sharp, ironic humor as well as the black-and-white comic illustrations. While some advanced vocabulary and a few adult-directed jokes and references may escape middle-grade readers, plenty of the puns, plays-on-words, and clever comedic timing will result in laugh-out-loud moments.—Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago
Timmy is back, clueless as ever, his sleuthing even clumsier than in the first installment. Timmy and his polar bear sidekick, Total, haplessly plow through the shenanigans thwarting Timmy's domination of the school detective competition. Great-aunt Coriander and her own wacky aspirations add a new layer to the winning combination of sardonically humorous text and pen-and-ink cartoons that has won Timmy many fans.

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