The Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I bought this for my kid while we were on a road trip; we stopped in Oxford, MS and while my husband tromped in the footsteps of Faulkner, my kid and I spent a couple of hours at Square Books. This book was recommended by the staff there as something a kid who loves Harry Potter and Percy Jackson would enjoy.
So I bought it and handed it to Cameron; one of the first books I've given him without a pre-read. I guess I was tired.
He read it before we pulled into Nashville that afternoon and pronounced it excellent. When I finally read it, I agreed with his assessment but with caveats. The story and ideas are, indeed, excellent; clever turns on phrases and ideas about alternate realities that made my adult brain nod with recognition. The writing is more sketchy than I had hoped; and not sketchy in a "questionable" context but sketchy in a "outline and not much detail" context. I have had these problems with other children's books; I often decide that kids fill in left-out details better than I do. In this one, though, I wished Myklusch had fleshed out his fantastic ideas a great deal more. What is a good book could have been a great book.
Regardless, my kid thinks it's brilliant. And that's what really matters, right?
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