Early Book Review: Odd, Weird & Little by Patrick Jennings

Odd, Weird & Little by Patrick Jennings is a children's novel that is currently scheduled for release on January 28 2014. Toulouse is the new kid, and he is a little odd. He is very short, always wears a hat, and does not talk much. Woodrow is not exactly popular, but he decides that giving the new kid a chance is more important than becoming more of a target to the schoolyard bullies.  The two make a good pair, they enjoy fishing and make a great volleyball team. The story is simple and sweet, with fun moments.

Odd, Weird & Little is a charming children's chapter book about being yourself, bullying, and acceptance. Toulouse is an odd kid, and Woodrow is not the most accepted kid in his grade either. However, their teasing by others and some shared interests connect the pair quickly. I loved that Woodrow has his reservations about befriending someone that was libel to make him a bigger target to bullies, but saw something in Toulouse that made him extend his friendship and defy the fear of the bullies. I liked that message about bullying was subtle and flowed well with the mystery of just why Toulouse was as different as he appears. While moments of the story seemed a little simple, it all come together in a way that really worked for me. The story itself was just like the title, something a bit odd, weird, and little.

I would recommend Odd, Weird & Little for elementary school and middle grade readers. The book is one that even the most popular kids might get something out of. The story is charming, sometimes funny, but also heartfelt. It is a short read, and well worth the time.

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