9780062206824_p0_v3_s260x420Reviewed by Colleen Turner

Having recently read and enjoyed It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green, my son was ecstatic when Deck the Halls, We’re Off the Walls! came in the mail. Knowing that the back of the book would have weird facts, puzzles, trivia and more, he instantly went to the back of the book so we could do all the fun activities first. These Christmas-themed activities were exciting for him as well as good practice for spelling and reading so I was happy to start with what he sees as the best part of the book. They didn’t take long to go through and we were soon on to the story.

Deck the Halls, We’re off the Walls! once again follows A.J. and his group of friends as they go on an adventure with unexpected twists and turns. This time they are going to the mall to try and speak to Santa and let him know what they want for Christmas. Things go awry when A.J. leaves the long line to try and find a present for his sister and unexpectedly must come to the aid of a young rapper, Cray-Z, being chased through the mall by young girls. Things are further complicated when A.J. is chased through the mall by angry parents after announcing to the waiting children that the Santa they are visiting is not who they expected to meet. This time Cray-Z will have to come to A.J.s rescue and A.J. learns the value of giving to others and what Christmas should really be all about.

This story had many of the same aspects my son enjoyed from the last book by Dan Gutman we read – over exaggeration, mild teasing and jokes that are perfect for young readers – and we were once again laughing along with A.J. and the gang. This book also has a funny Christmas rap as part of the story and my son had the best time learning the words and rapping it for anyone who would listen. I value anything that will get my son reading more and Dan Gutman’s books definitely do that!

I would recommend Deck the Halls, We’re off the Walls! for any elementary students looking for a funny, not too serious story that incorporates a snarky protagonist with lite life lessons that most kids can relate to. I know my son will be looking to see where A.J. and his friends go next.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son, their dog Oliver and their fish Finn. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by My Weird School. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.