Michelle's Reviews > Brain Finds a Leg

Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Ed Chatterton
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's review
Dec 02, 09

Read in November, 2009

A quirky read The Brain Finds a Leg will certainly entertain middle grade children. Filled with wit and humor Chatterton puts his main characters in outlandish circumstances via a most fun and fantastical way. From thieving kangaroos to stalking birds then back to an alligator that thinks she’s a dog the I was is taken on a wild ride through the animal kingdom, never once feeling like the strangely realistic behaviors different species took on were so far beyond outrageous that it drifted into the territory completely unimaginable.

It was, quite simply, just downright fun.

It is that same creativity and spirit that brought to life the main character of The Brain. Always a child at heart this young boy maintains the intellect of those twice his age and more; yet in doing so it doesn’t diminish his likability or his believability as the person who had the most potential to solve the crime he and Sheldon were investigating.

I enjoyed the best buddy relationship between the two boys — Sheldon was introverted and picked on, the class outcast, so it was realistic that Brain (being the new kid in town) would gravitate towards befriending him. Not only that but Sheldon allowed for Brain to hold the reigns in the relationship, steering them through the investigative process with the utmost trust that all would be alright in the end. Brain too had endearing qualities as it related to his new partner. He took great care to value Sheldon’s opinion and let him take change when it was most critical.

The mysterious circumstances surrounding the bizarre animal behavior and the events of the surfer’s death made for a good mystery. There was just enough of an ick factor to make it appealing to boys yet not so distasteful for girls. It was not so complex that an attentive reader wouldn’t be able to have an idea of the direction the story would take, yet the events weren’t so transparent that I was bored with the twists and turns. On occasion I was surprised by a revelation or two myself.

Chatterton has written both the plot and the characters with a winning combination of humor and intelligence making it perfectly crafted to enthrall your middle grader.

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