I'm giving this book a nice average middle-of-the-road 3 stars (just kidding, I'm totally going with 5, I just wanted to make that joke...)
1: This book was unlike any book I've read. It was funny, and yet serious. The main character wasn't a typical hero. Instead, he was an average kid, proving that you don't have to be extraordinary to be extraordinary. I think that's a really important message to send to kids.
2: The plot, if there is even a way to describe it, was a bit of a mix between allegory, satire, and irony. With a dash of something that I can't put my finger on. Like Alice in Wonderland meets The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe meets Gulliver's Travels meets Mary Poppins. So unique!
3: The characters were so funny! Kiljoy (he's a professional pessimist) and Monsieur Roget (the optimist), Mayor Culpa (a real live scape-goat), the Ninnies (they really did believe anything they were told) and the people of all the different lands(acting accordingly) added a lot to the story! The punny names were amazing!!
4: The different lands included Accusia (the king was a brat who always blamed others), Serenity Spa(a really good place to get peace of mind) , the Flatterlands (people there really had their heads turned), and Uppity (a place for snobs). The funny word-play led to a lot of enjoyment while reading this! I think kids would love this book!
5: It was so sad how James's mother treated him, but thanks to Ah-Ha, I think James really found that he wasn't to blame for that. I think he found a new compassion for his mom, and another reason to keep on loving her although there were no signs that she loved him back.
Thank you Pam for sharing this awesome book with me! I'm sorry it took so long...