When I received this copy of the novel for review (sent by the author, thank you Derek!) I had little idea what to expect, though I'd known it was a middle grade novel. Disclaimer: all opinions from here on are my own. I really enjoyed the read. It was a thick book (for middle grade) but all the chapters were relatively short and ended resolved. The illustrations were the perfect touch, covering many of the pages with characters and events. Because of the placement of the pictures, I was able to quickly attach the words to the image without spoiling myself or feeling the pictures misrepresented the words.
The novel did remind me, in structure and format, of Classroom at the End of the Hall by Douglas Evans (which I read in fifth grade and loved), but it had a unique twist and voice I've not seen in other novels I've read. The narration was generally very fun although I occasionally forgot the narrator existed and had a difficult time overlooking the occasional 'more on that later'. I do think, however, that the repetition would be good for younger readers.
I, personally, am definitely passing this on to a great friend of mine whose younger brother is just getting into reading. I think it's a great novel to read aloud at night, perhaps one chapter a night, because it's so fun (and not scary, though it does mention lots of things generally considered scary). I recommend this book to new, young readers or readers look for a light, fun, easy read. It was a great way to get back to reading in December!