BLOG TOUR: The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters by Frank L. Cole

Middle Grade Humor
Grades 3-6

Copy provided by school library.


Meet Hashbrown Winters. Like any typical Pordunce Elementary fifth grader, he's got a story. Actually he has several. There's the story of how he got his nickname, the story of how his treehouse club became one of the most popular groups at school, and, of course, the story of his untimely demise after a mishap with the beloved pet cockroach of Pordunce's walking death dealer, Hambone Oxcart. Will Hashbrown be able to convince Pordunce's own mob boss, Cordovo Figanewty, to offer him protection? Or are his days at Pordunce about to come to a swift and painful end? In this hilarious debut novel from Frank L. Cole, every kid who's any kid has a nickname, and half the fun of the story is figuring out how they got it. The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters will keep kids and parents alike laughing out loud, groaning in sympathy, and turning pages until well past bedtime.


Frank L. Cole has lived in such exotic places as the Philippines and Kentucky, and currently lives with his wife and three children out west. While he strived for years to earn his publishing credits, Frank considers sharing his message of “Exercising Your Imagination” to over 30,000 kids across the country as his greatest accomplishment. The Guardians of Elijah’s Fire is Frank’s 5th published book and will release this June, 2012. You can learn more about his writing at


A wacky, humorous tale of Hashbrown Winters and his friends and their struggles with the school bully, Hambone Oxcart.  I have to admit, I wasn't sure quite what to think about this book at first.  It is rather strange, I mean the setting is a fairly normal elementary school, but that's about all that's normal about it.  There is an 'elementary mob boss,' an 'oracle' who lives in a locker, and pretty much everyone has a strange nickname of some sort. Basically the book is absurd to the point of being humorous, for those who enjoy absurdity. For example, Hashbrown's friends are named Snow Cone, Whiz (don't ask), Four Hips, and Measles. I spent quite a bit of time rolling my eyes, but I have a strong feeling that a lot of kids would find this book very funny. I did find Cole's descriptions quite entertaining and creative.  Here are some examples:

"She giggled hoarsely, sounding more like a braying donkey than a ten-year-old girl."

"I looked over my shoulder at the sun slowly sliding behind the horizon.  It very well could have been a giant hash brown dropping into a fiery vat of cooking oil."

 "Hambone's feet are enormous.  They are so big he once stepped on both of Timothy Kiegan's feet at the same time and snapped every single one of his toes."

 This book would be great for teaching about metaphors other sorts of descriptions, also how exaggeration can be used to make a point, this book is full of exaggeration and humor.  For the right reader, this series would be quite enjoyable. Recommended.


  1. I am a fan of the absurd. It sounds like a middle grade Jasper Fforde esk read lol. Who could pass up a story with a MC named Hashbrown, I think I would enjoy it's absurdness, but then again, I also own a tardis. Great to have you back on the hop, cheers Julie Grasso

  2. Hello Heidi,
    Hashbrown Winters looks so cute - I think my son would find the absurdness hilarious - little ones often do, don't they? :) Thanks so much for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I love discovering new books, and new friends :)

  3. Visiting from KidLit. Thanks for hosting!

  4. I can totally see how this book could appeal to some readers and not others. The metaphor of the sun setting is quite over-the-top, isn't it? Thanks for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop with us once again! :)

  5. I'm pretty sure my kids would/will like this one. They have a strange way of thinking sometimes. I can see them huddling in the corner and suddenly laughing themselves silly when reading this.

  6. Hi! Visiting from KidLit. Thanks for hosting.
    First of all the picture of Hashbrown is adorable and makes me curious. Learning that is his name, the absurdity of it all sounds fun. Thanks for posting the review. I love learning about new books.
    ~Cool Mom
    for Stanley & Katrina

  7. This sounds like a hoot! I agree with Julie, kind of makes me think of Jasper Fforde for kids.

  8. Sounds like such fun! Thanks for hostessing yet again, Heidi :)


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