Tuesday, August 15, 2006


POND SCUM by Alan Silberberg (Hyperion)
Oliver has problems taking a walk in another's shoes...or wings...or webbed feet. Lonely and with a careless, sadistic streak, he doesn't always get along with his dad, or the kids at school, or even the wildlife that surrounds his isolated house. It isn't until a freak accident leads him to discover a gem with the power to temporarily turn Oliver into any animal that he touches is he able to start cultivating some empathy for the lives going on around him. Quirkier even than Carl Hiassen's Newbery-honor-winning HOOT (Knopf), this book is finding legions of fans, and is a title that sons and dads can share with pleasure. Beautiful prints of wildlife start every chapter. It also imparts ecological themes of interdependence without being heavy-handed...the only heavy here is on the humor. Combined with a fearless, cinematic writing style, flawed and funny characters, and fever-pitch animal battle scenes, we have the makings of your favorite boy's new favorite book. (9 and up)

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.


Anonymous said...


A first time commenter here! (excited grade 2 teacher and one who has been especially blown away by your expertise over this past summer)

I am very excited to read this book to my students as a first read-aloud of the year. We're studying animals (very fitting) and adding humour and fiction appealing to boys will surely make this a hit!
Thank you!


SilberBook-Blog said...


Thank you so much for the wonderful response to my book. I haven't felt this gushed-upon since junior high school (and that had to do with a kid sitting next to me whose braces made him drool).

By the way, I agree this is a great Son/Father read, but wanted to let you know I was invited to a Daughter/Mother book club where Pond Scum was the chosen book. The girls loved it too!

(and the worm-cake they served was delicious!)


Naomi said...

I just read Pond Scum and was wondering if you would consider it to be a Science Fiction book or a Fantasy book. I am in a Children's Literature class and was trying to figure out what it would be classified as.

I also wanted to comment that I really liked this book. The only problem I had with it was the whole part with the General beating up on Oiver as a snake. It was very disturbing to me, and I wonder if children would react the same way as I did. I was just very happy that everything worked out in the end!


Related Posts with Thumbnails