Not long ago, I wrote a blog post about how the process of creating books is often similar to that of scientific discovery. In short, authors, like scientists, must explore the realities of the worlds they have created in order to develop a cohesive and believable story that will resonate with readers. Rarely does a book invite readers into the messy and imperfect process of writing, but when they do, it is like getting a glimpse into a secret world that is filled with mystery and wonder.
Double the Danger and Zero Zucchini tells the story of Alex Harmon as he helps his Aunt Caroline develop her first middle grade series. A “reluctant reader” for most of his life, being asked to provide feedback on a book is not something he expects. Embracing the opportunity to earn ten dollars for his efforts, Alex becomes more involved in the writing process and brings his best friends, brother, and several community members in on the adventure. This delightfully written, unique story is one that will leave readers wanting more both from this book and those described within it. Please see my full review here.
I loved the writing in this book! Alex often speaks directly to the reader, divulging sometimes embarrassing moments in familiar language. From the first paragraph, readers are introduced to Alex’s enjoyable speaking voice, and each of the characters in turn has a distinct personality that endears readers to them. Short chapters make the story easy to digest, offering readers the opportunity to read one at a time or echo the refrain of “just one more.” Before long, the story has been told, and readers will be clambering for more.
The funny and unusual title is a peek into the adventure that appears in the pages of this book, offering writers an invaluable piece of advice in the process. Intergenerational familial relationships, intercultural friendships, and two married aunts grant this book a cohesive feeling while connecting people across a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Supportive messages permeate the text, and readers will be left with a general feeling of positivity and collaboration as the characters interact respectfully with one another. This is a fabulous addition to libraries for middle grade readers!
Do you know another great book I should feature in my blog? Message me here and let me know!