Monday, June 24, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Awesome, Almost 100% True Adventures of Matt & Craz, by Alan Silberberg--and a giveaway!!

Amazingly enough, I have another MMGM!!! (don't get used to this efficiency. With ALA next week I have a feeling I'll be back to "links-only" next Monday).

But before we get to that--I have last week's winner to announce! The winner of ONCE UPON THE END, by James Riley is...

Yay! *tosses confetti* If that's you, please email me at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com with your address and I will send you your prize.!

Okay, on to MMGM!

I don't know if you remember when I gushed about MILO: STICKY NOTES AND BRAIN FREEZE, but I am a huge, HUGE Alan Silberberg fan. So imagine my excitement when I found out he had another book coming out: THE AWESOME, ALMOST 100% TRUE ADVENTURES OF MATT & CRAZ!

Here's the official description from the publisher:
A magical pen causes creative chaos in this quirky, comic-style story from the author of Milo.

Best friends Matt and Larry “Craz” Crazinski couldn’t be more different. Matt loves order, while Craz lives on the edge. The boys share a passion for cartooning, but thanks to the school paper gatekeeper (and kind-of bully), Skip Turkle, it seems their cartoons will never be published.

But then the boys discover a pen that promises to help them DRAW BETTER NOW!—and quickly realize it’s no ordinary pen: Whatever they draw comes to life!

They start small with their drawings—bags of cash, cool gadgets. Next, they get their pesky English teacher to take a unique and extended vacation. But when the boys get a little bolder in their magical drawings, they realize that things don’t always end up as perfect as the art they create....

In this funny, slightly zany, and ultimately heartwarming story, Sid Fleischman Award–winner Alan Silberberg demonstrates the power of friendship—and that the best life is not always sketched out in advance.
Sounds awesome, right?

IT IS!!!

Just like with MILO, MATT & CRAZ is a mix of Silberberg's brilliant storytelling and hilarious cartoons--and this time the cartoons play an especially cool function as the crazy things Matt and Craz bring to life with their magic pen. How cool is that concept? Wish fulfillment via doodle--what kid doesn't want THAT power? Though, of course, Matt and Craz quickly get in over their heads, and well... much awesome chaos ensues. :)

This is a perfect book for boy and reluctant readers--but it's so much more than that, too. One of the things I love best about Silberberg's books is his ability to add so much heart into the stories he tells. This isn't *just* a book about drawings coming to life and causing shenanigans. It's also about family and healing and friendship and no matter what age you are, I'd be stunned if you didn't love it as much as I did. Which is why I'm giving away a copy to one of you, so you can discover it too.

To enter, make sure you leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm on Sunday, June 30th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Monday, July 1st. International entries welcome!

For more awesome middle grade love, check out these other MMGMs happening in the blogosphere:
- Media Sharif joins the MMGM fun with a feature on WONDER. Click HERE to welcome her to the group!  
- 11-year-old Xander is gushing about--*meep* EXILE, by um... me (can't believe reviews are starting to pop up for that book!) Click HERE to see what he thought (though it may be a few hours late--you may need to check back). 
- Mark Baker is cheering for SIDEKICKS. Click HERE to see his review.
- Temre Beltz is spreading the love for INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN. Click HERE to see why. 
- Annie McMahon is wondering at GREENHORN. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Andrea Mack is gushing about SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS. Click HERE to see why.  
- Susan Olson is championing THE LAST SYNAPSID. Click HERE for her review. 
- Laurisa White Reyes has a huge swag GIVEAWAY plus tons of book features. Click HERE for all the fun. 
 - Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) recommends THE SECRET GARDEN. Click HERE to see what that's all about.   
- Roseanne Parry is celebrating her own book release day. Click HERE to join her.  
- Jennifer Rumberger is singing praises for THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. Click HERE to see why. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome!    
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is an MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.   

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time


  1. The second I saw this cover I knew I had to visit, today! Just love this. :)

  2. Oooo, I have this on my to read list, oh yes I do! Glad to hear you like it. Have a blast at ALA!!

  3. LOVED Matt and Craz. I also thought the professional reviews of it were kind of funny. Pond Scum is one of my son's favorite books. Silberberg definitely "gets" middle grade boys!

  4. Just got this book from the library and LOVE it. I absolutely loved Milo too. I'm from Canada and was excited to learn the author also is from and lives in Canada!

    Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to own this one.

    Jill A.

  5. I know someone who'd love to have this!

  6. "Doddle and Shenanigans," who can pass up on that?. Sounds like a great summer time read for someone I know. Have fun at ALA!

  7. Doodles that come to life, what a great idea!

  8. Ohh yess. Sounds like an awesome book :D Would love to win it. <3 Thank you for the giveaway Shannon :) You are awesome.
    Love, Carina

  9. This sounds like a great book for summer reading with my children!

  10. Thanks for adding me to the list! Can't wait for Let The Storms Break!


  11. I'm excited about any book that will get my younger students reading. Matt and Craz seem like great new friends for them ... Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. This looks very fun and perfect for my younger students!!

  13. As a fifth grade teacher I can see a lot of my students enjoying this one. I haven't heard of it before and don't think I have read anything by this author. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway. :) I look forward to checking this one out!


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.