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Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and James Patterson’s Middle School series, this seriously funny, anything-but-typical modern family adventure features two dads, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets.

Meet the Fletchers. Their year will be filled with new schools, old friends, a grouchy neighbor, hungry
skunks, leaking ice rinks, school plays, wet cats, and scary tales told in the dark!

There’s Sam, age twelve, who’s mostly interested in soccer, food, and his phone; Jax, age ten, who’s psyched for fourth grade and thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk; Eli, age ten (but younger than Jax), who’s thrilled to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s the smart kid; and Frog (not his real name), age six, who wants everyone in kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah. Also Dad and Papa. The Family Fletcher is fun to know.

This is the story about four adoptive brothers, Eli, Jax, Sam and Frog (gosh I love that nickname) and their misadventures throughout the school year. As the blurb suggests, there’s plenty going on in this story with skunks and grouchy neighbors and plenty of animals, but there are also lessons that are learned. The boys’ struggles are those that many children encounter -- changing friendships, discovering new talents, adjusting to new schools, and learning to accept their mistakes. The Fletcher family handles these challenges with grace and, always, with lots of love. There are plenty of laugh out loud and feel good moments that will bring a smile to your face. 

I did feel that the beginning was a bit slow because a lot of backstory is introduced, but after the 3rd or fourth chapter, I really began to settle into the story. I found myself eager to see how the boys would resolve their problems. In the end, I find this to be a fabulous debut, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my kids.



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