Thursday, April 28, 2016

SERIES THURSDAY: Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker


Waylon has lots of ideas for making life more awesome through science, like teleportation, human gills, and attracting cupcakes by controlling gravity. But it's impossible for him to concentrate on his inventions when he's experiencing his own personal Big Bang.

Arlo Brody is dividing the fourth grade boys into two groups. Waylon would rather be friends with everyone. Well, everyone except the scary new kid, Baxter Boylen.

Waylon's older sister, Neon, is shooting away from the family. He wishes everything would go back to the way it was before she started wearing all black and saying "What's the point?" all the time.

Just when it looks as though Waylon's universe is exploding, something happens to bring it all together again, and it is, without a doubt, One Awesome Thing.


Waylon worries about Arlo Brody's efforts to divide the fourth grade boys into the 'shark-punchers' and the 'others'.  But that's just one of his concerns.  He has big plans for his future and what he wants to accomplish as a scientist, especially regarding gravity and the time-space continuum. But his sister's strange behavior and the arrival of Baxter Boylen complicate things.  Waylon is a sweet kid with good intentions and a remarkable love of science.  While his ideas don't fit in the realm of reality yet, his sincerity is undeniable.  I especially enjoyed reading about his relationship with his sister and how as an 'isthmus' he tries to help his sister and parents reconnect along with his classmates.  But it takes a dog in trouble to really help bring everything back together.  Pennypacker has created another character just as winning in his own way as Clementine, but oh so different.  A thoroughly engaging and welcome addition to early chapter book series for younger 2-4 grade readers.

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