290-291. Lunch Lady Vol. 3 &4 by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Lunch Lady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

Age: 8+

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Reason for Reading: Book #4 is a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels this is required reading for me. Since I've already read volumes 1 & 2, there seemed no point skipping #3 to just read #4 so I read them both. I was not overly impressed with the first books in the series last year.

290. #3. Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta. 96 pgs, Dec. 2009. After not being very impressed with book 1 and slightly enjoying book 2, I must say book 3 here has left me feeling much better about this series. After a rather curmudgeonly kiddy author visits to sign books, the school's coach disappears. Lunch Lady and the gang do some research and it seems school coaches have been disappearing for a few years back now coinciding with this author's school visits! Lunch Lady to the rescue! Lunch Lady is still a bit over the top with the kitchen gadget spy tools. Here she receives hamburger headphones that let her listen in on conversations going on all around her. The plot is still rather unbelievable. How can a common author have the power to hypnotize men into being his servants for years on end? But I like the repartee between the kids and how they take on the problems they are faced with plus their quick thinking and sensible, realistic solutions. Even though the Lunch Lady series continues to be over the top, I can honestly say I found this one fun, it had its humorous moments and I have finally made a connection with the kids, if not LL. Hopefully book 4 will continue in the same vein. 3.5/5

291. #4. Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown. 96 pgs. May, 11, 2010. Finally a plot I can believe in. This one belongs to the "Scooby Doo" school of mystery. Summer camp begins with just-for-fun rumours of a Swamp Monster until the new camp councillor is attacked by a green slimy monster. Lunch Lady and the gang think someone real is behind the further Swamp Monster sightings and they go after catching the slimy dude. This volume was a lot of fun. The kids being shuttled off to boys' and girls' cabins find they don't fit in with the other campers very well and drift back to each other, having more fun tracking down criminals than attending arts & crafts classes. A few laugh out loud moments. I really like the kids and while Lunch Lady was more laid-back on her summer vacation I still don't find her character very appealing. Not my favourite series, but book 4 is definitely my favourite in the series! 4/5


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