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Nightmare at the Book Fair
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Nightmare at the Book Fair

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  367 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Trip Dinkleman hates to read. Hates, hates, hates it.

All he wants to do is play lacrosse. So when the president of the PTA asks Trip to help her out on his way to tryouts, he is not happy. He is even more not happy when a stack of books tumbles onto his head and knocks him out cold. And he is even more not happy when he wakes up and has absolutely no idea where he is. No
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published July 29th 2008)
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Mar 11, 2011 Kathrina rated it liked it
This is a hard book to review for a number of reasons. The first is, my mostly reluctant-reader 8-year-old son, who asked for this book for Christmas, LOVED this book, loves to talk about it, required me to read it right way, wants to show me and every one he knows his favorite chapters, and wants to read more Dan Gutman. How can I not give it 5 stars for those reasons alone?! But...

Am I being unreasonable for having issues? I mean, this book caused my son no physical harm, in fact, it did exact
Nov 30, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very clever way to introduce the genres. Well written!
Dec 17, 2008 Pandora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I ended up skip reading it at the end. The book is very disjointed and there is no central narrartive holding the story together. Trip just jumps from one adventure to another. I really didn't see how he could learn anything. I think Gutman is trying to be like Alcatraz (Sanderson) or The Hitchhiker Guide to the Glaxary. The problem is in order to be that crazy you have to have control which Gutman, unlike Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Adams, doesn't have in this story. At a couple points he eve ...more
Sep 08, 2008 babyhippoface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trip Dinkleman hates to read. He agrees to help move some crates for the Book Fair, a load of books crashes down on his head. When Trip wakes up he finds himself inside a typical Goosebumps-type story. Just as Professor Psycho is about to steal Trip's face for a transplant, Trip is transported into the middle of an adventure story and is pushed out of an airplane. From the adventure story to a sci-fi tale, to a meeting with Captain Obvious and The Exaggerator, Trip's transporting continues from ...more
Aug 23, 2014 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. Reading it aloud to my third graders. They are so engaged. Suspense is great!
Jan 17, 2016 Courtenay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the concept of this book, a boy who hates to read who ends up getting wonked over the head by books and then has adventures in all sorts of genres -- Fantasy was hilarious, and to imagine walking on the moon as a boy in the historical fiction chapter, how totally cool is that -- but Gutman nailed the "girls" chapter, sharing all their wacky topics of conversation -- I read it aloud to my 11-year-old daughter (who won't let me read to her any more) and she was rolling on the floor. I've r ...more
I have always been a big fan of Mr. Dan Gutman, but when I read this book, he started being my all time favorite author! Here are all of the astouning things that kept me on reading :)

Plot and Characters:
I saw every scene in my head as if I was watching a thriller movie! I can't recall any other good junevile author that made all of the pages come to life like that. I was very surprised to start liking the main character as the book went on (and I think that's what the author was trying to get m
Meryl Evans
Jan 04, 2010 Meryl Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nightmare at the Book Fair" tells the fantastical tale of middle schooler Trip Dinkleman, who tries desperately to get to Lacrosse tryouts, but ends up taking a side trip through some of the books at the school book fair. Asked to help set up the school book fair, Trip, who hates to read, grudgingly agrees when assured it will be quick. While trying to move a crate of book across the room, it tips over and books come tumbling down, hitting Trip in the head.

He awakes, not in the library, but sta
Steven R. McEvoy
Jan 21, 2013 Steven R. McEvoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I have read a number of different books by Dan Gutman over the last few years. And I must say this one is my new favorite. It was an awesome read across genres and the humor was incredible. In many ways it reads like a jaunt across literary genres much like Robert A. Heinlien's Job: A Comedy of Justice. I loved this book and have recommended it to a number of people who all enjoyed it also.

Trip Dinkleman hates to read. He really hates it. But he gets roped into helping set up for the book fair b
Mar 13, 2010 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no doubt, Trip Dinkleman HATES to read. So when the president of the school's PTA stops him on his way to lacrosse try-outs to help her set up the book fair, he is not happy. But when a shelf of books falls over on him, he is hit on the head and transported to the magic of storytelling through books. He experiences a haunted shack (HORROR), playing in a Super Bowl game (SPORTS), skydiving (ADVENTURE),aliens in Washington (SCIENCE FICTION), a Captain Underpants read-alike (HUMOR), a murde ...more
Areeb Narvel
This book is about a boy named Trip. He is going to play Lacrosse after school but gets called in to hep put books on the bookshelf for the book fair. While he is doing that he mistakingly pushes a shelf over and it hits him on the head. He blacks out and enters a magical world of all the different genres. He enters a place where a scientist wants to cut his head off, a place where he is in a football gam, he becomes a cat, jumps out of a plane, has to go on a quest, and many more different adve ...more
Siri Brown
Jan 27, 2016 Siri Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I and my 3rd graders enjoyed this book! It was a great book to introduce the basics of genre. I read it for that purpose. I had my students make a lot of predictions.

There are some content prices that I filtered through for my students. I changed part of the story (as a read aloud) so they did not need to be exposed to certain phrases.
- "is she hot?" = is she good looking
- the whole transgendered part was skipped on my part.
- the talk about girls not eating so they wouldn't gain weight was elimi
Oct 07, 2011 Hussene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very intense because the protagonist,Dinkleman, hates to read. He is getting forced by a teacher and Dinkleman hate her. What Dinkleman likes to do is play lacrosse and likes to watch football and the teacher hates that. Dinkleman is going on a PTA trip and he is going to play lacrosse a lot. the teacher told him to read a boring book. Do the teacher and Dinkleman get along after all or Dinkleman just explodes.
What I like about the book is what Dinkleman does to get the teacher m
Sep 08, 2008 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I'm not sure, and that's my problem with this book
Shelves: jv, fantasy
I'm not sure what audience Gutman intended for this book. If the book was meant to introduce reluctant readers (like the main character) to different book genres, then I think the language and injokes would be above some readers' heads. Also, Gutman pokes fun at most of the genres, which is not a problem if readers are already familiar with some genre conventions (such as many fantasy stories involving quests and descriptive language), but if a reader is unclear what fantasy books are about this ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Mrs. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big Dan Gutman fan and read all his books that I can. My students find his books great reads too, especially the ones I talk up to them as my favorites. I especially liked this book for the library/literacy skills it taught my students. I used it as a read aloud and a way to introduce the different genres to my class. I loved how the main character and some supporting characters carried over from chapter to chapter. Yes it was pretty predictable in the end but that is what my 4th and 5th ...more
Becky B
Dec 15, 2013 Becky B rated it liked it
Book-hating Trip is helping set up the book fair when he gets conked on the head by a falling display and ends up wandering through adventures in various genres until he comes back to consciousness.

This is a pretty fast read. It is a typical morphing-dream-adventure type of story, where one story line morphs into another, each chapter is a new genre and there is no over-arching plot except trying to get Trip to wake up. Kids should enjoy it.

Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content
This books is much much better than Gutman's "my weird school" series. But it still has some of the same problems for me. There's a lot of language between the characer's with "shut up", "you idiot", "moron" etc. So when I read the book to my child, I just "rewrite" those parts.

I did like that each chapter was a different genre of writing (adventure, mystery, horror, fantasy etc). It's a really neat way to introduce you child about different genre's.

I also liked in the humor chapter how Gutman
Feb 20, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Nightmare at the Book Fair is a purely fun book. It's a complete spoof of every genre under the sun, and the format is pretty terrific. Trip jumps from one narrative to the next, and Gutman skewers everything from fantasy to horror. Those familiar with genre tropes will really get a kick out of the way that Gutman goes completely meta and self-referential. This is the post-modern kids book, and I love it.

It's sort of like If on a winter's night a traveller... for the younger set. Sort of. Don't
Jul 05, 2010 Victoria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this with my 5th grade learners for a reading program. So. Boring. No plot, no character development, and way too many failed 'teaching' attempts. At least I made a good game out of it, though I'm never letting them choose their own books again.

Gave it an extra star for Chapter 10, which was almost funny. The last two genres were definitely more... parodical (word?) than the beginning, which makes me wonder if that was how Gutman intended it or if he had some consistency problems.

I am not
May 30, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Even though the "Fiction for Girls" was mildly insulting and who Carrie ended up being is mildly disturbing, this was a highly entertaining read.

It did make me crave funnel cakes, though...
Nov 02, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This book is about a boy named Trip and he hates to read. One day he gets "volunteered" into helping a t his school library.While moving some heavy books he drops them and they all land on his head.He falls uncounsiouse and wakes up in a book! He's a character in a sorts of books with the genres fantasy, action, mystery and more. How will he get out of them?
I picked this book up because someone recommended this author for me to read and this was the only book I could find of this author.
I finish
It was a random book I picked off the shelf at the library. It wasn't the best book I have read in the last 6 months, but it was okay. For me, it was a quick read; I read it in a day.
Feb 22, 2014 Courtney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great to introduce genres but really didn't care for it. Not sure if I would put it in the hands of a reluctant reader. It would be fun as a class project to break into groups to illustrate and write highlights of the different genres.
Lisa the Librarian
Actual rating 2 1/2 stars.

Very good idea. Each chapter is a different genre. Most are a sub-genre of fiction. Include are horror, sports fiction, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy. There are also others like easy reader, and reference.

It started out fairly strong and the genre examples were well done. I was disappointed that toward the end the chapters were more of a parody of the genres, almost mocking the genre. That really runied the whole thing for me quite a bit.

I also found the main character to
Gwen the Librarian
When Trip Dinkelman (who hates to read) gets snagged by the PTA to help unload the school book fair crates, he gets more than he bargained for. Some books fall and hit him on the head, causing a nightmare? coma? hallucinations? Call them what you will, Trip has an amazing adventure through every genre of literature. He plays in the Super Bowl, falls from an airplane, walks on the moon, gets trapped in a dictionary, and even turns into a girl!

This is a fun exploration of books for both kids who
Timothy  C
Oct 26, 2015 Timothy C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a pleasure to read these piece of literature. i loved the setting and characters, and the creativity of the book
Mar 08, 2014 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for the reluctant reader. It shows him/her what the different genres are AND that reading isn't so bad.
Mary Lee
Aug 09, 2008 Mary Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A book fair cart tips over on Trip Dinkleman and he's knocked out and trapped in all the genres on the cart: horror, sports fiction, adventure, science fiction, humor, mystery, reference, historical fiction, easy reader, animal fiction, fantasy, and fiction for girls. Each chapter is a spoof on one of the genres -- a bit (okay, sometimes more than a bit) exaggerated, but it's the exaggeration that might help young readers identify what it is that makes each genre distinct.

I liked this one a lot
Jodi Leon
A good fun way to introduce genre to children. Writing is a bit stale, but will appeal to 4th and 5th graders. It seemed a bit like a writing experiment, a very clever way.
Susanne Davison
Sep 06, 2014 Susanne Davison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kiddy-lit
Such a disappointment!
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The author of over 80 books in a little over a decade of writing, Dan Gutman has written on topics from computers to baseball. Beginning his freelance career as a nonfiction author dealing mostly with sports for adults and young readers, Gutman has concentrated on juvenile fiction since 1995. His most popular titles include the time-travel sports book Honus and Me and its sequels, and a clutch of ...more
More about Dan Gutman...

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