Reviews for Mudshark


School Library Journal Reviews 2012 June

Gr 3-6--Twelve-year-old sports phenom Lyle Williams is known as Mudshark to his classmates. His amazing powers of observation have led to his reputation as the first person to turn to if one has lost something. Mudshark is much like Sherlock Holmes--he notices details no one else does, has a prodigious memory, and always solves the crime. There is a mystery of sorts in this brief tale--erasers are missing from classrooms--but it is more a humorous slice-of-life that many listeners will enjoy. Mudshark is challenged by a parrot that resides in the school library and seems to be even better at solving problems. Narrator Tasso Feldman has a great capacity for making each character in Gary Paulsen's entertaining novel (Wendy Lamb Bks., 2009) distinct. He does a super job of conveying Mudshark's cool Úlan while playing up the many humorous moments. Mudshark's frustration over solving the mystery of how the Psychic Parrot knows what he does is deftly presented. The school principal's increasingly absurd morning broadcasts that introduce each chapter, delivered in a completely deadpan tone, are worth the price of recording alone. Feldman never overplays the humor, even though it becomes absurd at points. Hand this one to kids who want a fast, funny read about a boy who is both intelligent and cool.--B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara Public Library System, CA

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