Alas, I am underwhelmed…

Title: It Ate My Sister

Author: Mark Binder

Pub. Date: October 2008

Publisher: Light Publications

Pages: 132

Genre: Humor, I suppose

Age Range: Middle Grade (I say this because while some topics are too adult for very young kids, the book is overall too juvenile for young adults)

Synopsis/Teaser: It Ate My Sister is a collection of “autobiographical” short stories depicting the author’s life growing up with less-than-perfect parents and a highly annoying older sister. From the petulant to the paranormal to the downright goofy, Mark has experienced all and tells all– it’s up to the reader to decide whether his accounts are trustworthy.

Review: When I first saw It Ate My Sister in the library, I was curious. The cover blurb and back cover made the book sound good; the humor in both of these places was a bit juvenile, but funny nonetheless. As it offered an excellent reviewing opportunity, I decided to check it out. Alas, I was severely disappointed.

If the humor in the actual stories matched that of the blurbs, I would have been satisfied. However, the attempted wisecracks were feeble and sophomoric. Binder relies heavily of the “gross-out” factor to get laughs, which will probably only work on fourth-grade boys.

I will admit that the stories themselves had the power to hold your attention, though I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing. A few of the tales, particularly “The Haunted Playground,” might make good Halloween reading.

On the whole, It Ate My Sister is not worth then read unless you just want a few thrills and chills from selected stories.

Recommended for: Reluctant young readers who enjoy jokes about boogers, flatulence, etc.

Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5 possible stars.

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