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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*The Pocket Guide to Mischief* by Bart King, illustrated by Brenda Brown- young readers book review
Also by Bart King:

The Big Book of Boy Stuff

The Big Book of Girl Stuff
The Pocket Guide to Mischief
by Bart King, illustrated by Brenda Brown
Ages 9-12 272 pages Gibbs Smith February 2008 Paperback    

Mischief is a most profound pleasure,” Frank Herbert is quoted as saying in Bart King’s latest work for children, and how true it is. With antics and mischief aplenty, this small handbook packs a ton of pranks for youngsters who want to take high-jinks to the next level.

Starting with a definition of what true mischief is and what it is not, King establishes a list of rules for safe and cruelty-free play. After that, the gloves come off. Every silly prank and kid-driven insult, joke, and trick conceivable are included in chapters such as “Practical Jokes,” “Oldies but Goodies,” and “Great Moments in Insults” 1 and 2.

Some favorites suggestions of mine include: •
  • For someone who wants ice cream, put a scoop of mayonnaise at the bottom of their bowl or cone and see what happens.
  • Take a plastic champagne bottle that makes a loud pop when the string is pulled out and place it in the bottom of a salad bowl. Place salad on top with the string showing and wait for someone to pull it.
  • Complain to the waiter that your water has been diluted.
The Pocket Guide to Mischief encourages kids to go beyond ho-hum wet willies and toilet-papering someone’s house to something special and memorable. But they are reminded to be polite: if someone pulls a prank on them, they must remember to congratulate their opponent on their cleverness before seeking revenge. Handy illustrations are included, such as the wedgie-proof underwear in “Harmless Tickery 101.” The chapter entitled “Mischief of the Rich and Famous” has examples of the antics of famous people like Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., tearing up college exams and George Clooney “busting a grumpy” in a cat litter box.

Despite the silliness, this book has tremendous educational value, and while having fun, kids will learn a variety of historical and scientific facts. Amusing quotes at the beginning of each chapter feature Shakespeare, Voltaire, and even Antiphilus of Byzantium who begins “Choosing Your Target or Nemesis.” The Mythbusters make an appearance in several chapters, and Jamie Hyneman gives more information on poop than I ever thought existed.

This is the perfect book for a reluctant or lagging reader, a long car trip, or a rainy day at home. As George Borrow said, “Mischief is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness.” At least it will get them away from the TV.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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