Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker

41zdzi3puplI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter is almost nine years old, and she is an avid reader. She and I have read all of Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine books, so we were very excited about the opportunity to read Pennypacker’s latest book: Waylon! One Awesome Thing.

Waylon is not a sequel to the Clementine books, but they are definitely a spinoff. Waylon lives in Clementine’s world; the two children attend the same school, and they are both in the fourth grade. They are not close friends, but Waylon has a couple of interactions with her over the course of the book.

If you are not familiar with the Clementine books, that’s okay; you don’t have to have read them before reading Waylon. Waylon is a fourth grade boy who lives in Boston with his parents and sister. Waylon is a very intelligent boy, and he loves science.

As the story begins, Waylon experiences some big changes all at once. Arlo Brody, a popular boy, has divided the fourth grade boys into two “teams”. Waylon doesn’t particularly want to be on a team, but he still feels hurt when he is not placed on either of the teams. Back at home, his older sister Charlotte has started wearing black clothes, calling herself “Neon” and saying nihilistic things.

And if that were not bad enough- Baxter, the infamous juvenile criminal mastermind- makes a triumphant return to the fourth grade.

Waylon! One Awesome Thing is such an adorable book. My daughter enjoyed reading this book with me, and she laughed frequently at the things that were happening. As a parent, I appreciate that the book contains some nice messages about friendship, teamwork, and the importance of family.

I would recommend Waylon! One Awesome things to middle grade readers. This is the first book in a new series. Waylon is such a wonderful protagonist. He’s considerate, thoughtful, and creative. He has such wonderful ideas about scientific topics, which earns him the honorific “the scienciest kid”. My daughter and I are absolutely looking forward to more Waylon books.

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