Melonhead and the Big Stink by Katy Kelly

Wednesday August 11, 2010

Melonhead and the Big Stink
by Katy Kelly
Delacorte Press
June 8, 2010
Goodreads Summary: Melonhead is back in action, filled with curiosity, stirring up a little trouble (even though he doesn't mean to), and determined to have a summer of fun! In this second book in the Melonhead chapter book series, Melonhead is still pals with Lucy Rose, but he's not going to Parks & Rec camp this summer. He ruined one of Mrs. Wilkins's favorite garden plants, so his parents have "loaned" him to her to do chores. This is going to mess up his summer plans if he doesn't figure something out. 

He and Sam need to find a way to get to New York City to see the titan arum "bunga bangkai" plant. It's supposed to be twelve feet tall, weigh a hundred pounds, and smell like dead mammals, plus rot, plus spoiled food. It only blooms once every seven years, and even then only for two days and then it keels over dead. It's the Big Stink of a Lifetime! But Melonhead has to get a few more good deeds out of the way first, and doing chores for Mrs. Wilkins is a good start, even if it wasn't in the plan to begin with!

Review: I don't know if you know this, but a phenomenon in middle school libraries is that  if they are in 6th grade they want to read books about 7th and 8th graders, if they are in 7th grade they want to read about 8th and 9th get the idea. As we all know sometimes books about older kids aren't always appropriate, so the key to getting kids to read age appropriate books is humor, humor, humor!

Melonhead is always in trouble and is the poster child for not thinking before you do something! Even when he is trying to be good it seems things still go wrong. When he accidentally ruins a neighbors favorite garden plant despite his best efforts to avoid getting in trouble, his punishment may ruin his summer plans...Melonhead is dead set on going to the New York Botanical Garden to see a twelve foot tall plant that only blooms once every seven years and smells like rotton meat (yuk).

Full of humor and Melonhead's hilarious hi-jinks this book will have the pre-teen crowd snickering at the inevitable disastrous results. On the sweet side the book also shows the benefits of befriending the elderly when Melonhead starts to enjoy his "punishment" of being loaned to Mrs. Wilkins (who Melonhead and friends estimate must be at least 100 years old).  A nice easy read that ultimately spreads the message that one good deed from the heart can sometimes erase mistakes from the past.