WAYLON: One Awesome Thing


Waylon: One Awesome Thing
By Sara PennyPacker
Disney Hyperion, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4847-0152-2
Price: $15.99


Waylon: One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker is for children nine to twelve. Waylon is an inventor. He wants to invent something that will put his family back together. He is struggling with belonging when the most popular boy in school decides he might be gang material. He is distressed by the division of his class into two groups and by gender. He is not sure he wants to belong to a group. His sister has entered a grunge phase and he doesn’t have anyone to confide in at home.

Worrying about how he appeared to others is a new idea for Waylon. He’d never given this any thought before because he’d always fit in, everyone had always been friends, and suddenly he is afraid of being a loser sitting alone at the back of the bus.

Here is an example of the wonderful writing:

“Baxter had only been in the third grade for a few days last September, but a couple of days were enough. When he’d left, the rumor that he’d been sent away to prison. Everyone had agreed that it would be a good place for him.”

Waylon eventually teams up with Baxter to solve his problems. They devise a solution to rescue a dog from the police department and manage to bring the fourth grade together.

I give this a five out of five. The characters are wonderful, detailed, full of well-described emotions. I found the situations funny, and the settings well drawn. The dialogue was realistic, and well done. I give this story about a fourth grade inventor a five out of five.

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About Mary T Kincaid

Writer of fiction and non-fiction for children of all ages. Love the mental age where the rules of logic are suspended and there is a willingness to enter the story world no matter what your physical age.

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