Reviews for Masters of Disaster

AudioFile Reviews 2011 May
Author Gary Paulsen personally introduces narrator Nick Podehl as a "trained professional who won't ruin the recording by laughing." His introduction is right on target: Podehl maximizes the story's humor without cracking himself up as he portrays three 12-year-olds who are embarking on "dangerous missions." Podehl shows the confidence of mastermind Henry, the nerdiness of scientific Riley, and the fear of naïve Reed, who's duped into performing all the deeds. Podehl builds Reed's terror, for example, as the boy prepares to ride his bicycle off a third-story roof--he stutters and then breaks into full-blown horror before he emerges dazed, confused, and smelly from landing in a pile of dirty diapers. Podehl excels at the breakneck speed of all the breakneck adventures. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 October

Gr 5-7--Henry has the brilliant idea that he and his friends Riley and Reed need to make a name for themselves (and impress the girls) by having mind-blowing adventures. Riley is in charge of supplies and documentation, Henry is the idea man and general planner, and Reed has the unfortunate job of carrying out most of the exploits which always seem to end in smelly grossness. The 12-year-olds boldly undertake all sorts of daring adventures, starting with launching Reed off a steep roof tied to a bicycle to bounce off a swimming pool diving board and break a world record. Other stunts include surviving a night in the wilderness, bull-riding (girls love cowboys), and dumpster diving for science. Reed continues to get smellier because each episode predictably ends with him in some sort of rotting material or human or animal waste. Nick Podehl narrates all the voices in Gary Paulsen's humorous novel (Wendy Lamb Books, 2011) with youthful eagerness and abandon, endowing each character with an appropriate personality. Each chapter presents one of the daring exploits, and there's a brief introduction by the author explaining the origin of the book. Listeners, especially boys, who thrive on adventure, wackiness, and basic grossness will love this endearing trio.--Teresa Wittmann, Westgate Elementary School, Edmonds, WA

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