Early Book Review: The Wednesdays by Julie Bourbeau and Jason Beene

The Wednesdays, written by Julie Bourbeau and illustrated by Jason Beene, is a children's book scheduled for release on August 14 2012. Max is your average kid, in a not so average town. In Max's town Wednesdays are a day of mishaps and accidents, so the entire town shuts themselves away indoors every single Wednesday. Max gets bored on these days and would rather risk getting a case of the Wednesdays than stay cooped up inside. In his search for the Wednesdays, Max discovers some of the secrets behind the day and looks for a way to keep anyone from getting hurt, and himself from becoming trapped in Wednesday forever. Can Max stop the changes that seem to be affecting him, and can he stop the Wednesdays from getting out of control?

The Wednesdays is a fun and well told story. Max is a normal boy, that wants to stay that way. He loves the adventure and weirdness that he uncovers, but not the danger it brings to those around him. While, like every kid, there are days that he does not like his family, he obviously loves them. He is a character that most children can relate to and understand through out the story. His family, the town residents, and his friends are all interesting and quirky as well as believable (except perhaps the wacky specialist brought in to help Max). The build up of tension and conclusion are perfectly staged, without being predictable or too cut and dry. Slap stick humor and awkward moments for Max and his companions keep the story moving in a fun way. The adventure and mystery of the story is interesting, and might ring true enough to have readers looking for Wednesdays hiding in their own lives. I might be looking around the corner for some myself.

I recommend The Wednesdays to readers between 7 and 13, although many teens and adults might enjoy the story as well. The story is engaging and really captures the imagination. I continued thinking about Max and his town for quite awhile after I finished the story. This would be on the list of books I would offer to reluctant readers, and their parents, as an option that might spark interest.
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