Received: ARC from Publisher
Publication Date of Book: August 4, 2015
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chadd Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.
In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the government become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.
Fuzzy Mud was a delightful middle grade novel. The adventure and mystery that seeped from its pages was not only enjoyable but also imaginative. No one knows what the fuzzy mud is or how it was created, setting up an intriguing tale that readers are sure to eat up.
I especially enjoyed Sachar’s lovely characters. My absolute favorite would have to be Marshall Walsh. This is largely due to the fact that, while he was afraid of and being bullied by Chad Hilligas, he still stood up for himself. He showed the bully that he was not frightened of him anymore. However, even though Marshall stood up for himself, Chad still harasses him. What I really loved, though, was how Chad explains to Marshall why he bullied him and he apologizes to him at the end. These two then become good friends. As a result, I find that this book has great messages for younger readers, showing them positive ways to deal with difficult and scary situations. When Marshall stood up for himself he was showing others that they can be brave and should speak up and defend themselves just like he did.
There were other parts of this book that I really enjoyed as well. For instance, when Chad was missing, Tamaya Dhilwaddi left school to go look for him in the woods behind the school. Even though Chad was mean to Marshall, she cared about him and wanted to find him and lend a hand if she could. Marshall also left school to go look for Chad and Tamaya in the woods. Tamaya found Chad, and Marshall found both Chad and Tamaya together. All three of them had to become a team and put aside their differences and pasts. They were lost together and had to make the best of their current situation no matter the circumstances. I was super glad that they were all found by the search dogs in the end and that their experiences in the woods created a bond of friendship. This result truly emphasizes the fact that your enemies may not be who you truly think they are and that they can turn their lives around and become kind and caring individuals.
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