Monday, September 10, 2018

Review - Unbelievably Boring Bart

Jimmy Patterson; 260 pages; $13.99; Amazon

It's been difficult for me to keep up with all the new releases, especially those written (or co-written) by James Patterson, as he practically has two or three new titles a month. Last week, I stumbled upon Unbelievably Boring Bart written Mr. Patterson & Duane Swierczynski at my local Walmart store. I didn't even know the book even existed. From my understanding, the book was released last week.

Published by Jimmy Patterson Books, Unbelievably Boring Bart centers around Bartholomew "Bart" Bean, a middle schooler who believes he's the most boring person in the universe. A few months ago, his dad, Bill, made him move from their home in Philadelphia to the hot weather of Rancho Verdugo, California. His dad is the gym teacher at his new school, which makes gym class extra difficult for Bart, as sports and exercise just doesn't intrigue him. Instead, Bart would rather be on his laptop (a hand-me-down from his mother, just before she left his father) working on the coding for his greatest invention - a video game app called Hecklr. It's similar to Pokemon Go, but with spider-like aliens.

Similar to his old school, Bart is bullied by several students. His only real friend is CyberGirl03 who he had met on the SlapTalk messaging app. CyberGirl03 is actually a girl named Aaliyah who lives in a nearby apartment building. Bart always sees her on the third-floor balcony in the afternoons, but he has never met her. She doesn't attend his school because she takes her school courses on the internet.

After sending CyberGirl03 his game to test out, he decides to make a few adjustments, which means he has to spend several late nights working on the new coding while his father is asleep. Later, somehow his game gets leaked to the public! First his classmates are all downloading and playing the game, and then the entire town begins playing it.

Now, the creator of Hecklr is the most popular person in the town, but poor Bart must keep his identity a secret.

Final Thoughts

Even though I just turned 37 years old a few days ago, I had no trouble finding the main character, Bart, relatable. I was heavily bullied starting in middle school and throughout high school, and many times I felt like nobody knew that I even existed in the world. Bart is very interesting character that should appeal to children, especially those who feel like they are an outcast.

The main plot involves Bart creating a game app that becomes popular in his school. Surprisingly, he never takes credit for the creating the game.

Like most James Patterson's books, the chapters are short, which will help young readers to keep turning the pages to see what's going to happen next. The illustrations by Xavier Bonet are very detailed and somewhat resembles a comic book.

Overall, I pleasantly enjoyed reading Unbelievably Boring Bart. It's a well written children's book with a fun story, likeable characters, witty dialogue, and exciting illustrations.

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