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Rise of the Balloon Goons

(The Notebook of Doom #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,120 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Monsters + Humor + Fun = THE NOTEBOOK OF DOOM!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Alexander has just mo
Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Scholastic Inc.
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,120 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Kris Patrick
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Troy Cummings is coming to Brooks school elementary 11/19!!!

Parents approach me weeks later to recount how their son hasn't stopped drawing and/or writing since Troy Cummings's 11/19 visit or how their daughter has been begging for #6, #7, and #8 in The Notebook of Doom series for Christmas though these titles are months away from publication. Mr. Cummings's humor and talent captivated the entire audience, which made for a delightful family event. And to watch an autographing line that snaked
Dena (Batch of Books)
Finally! An early chapter book worth talking about! With the popularity of scary themes and mysteries, this book is perfect to introduce a youngster into the world of reading. I read this with my 5 year old daughter and she loved it. She went back through the book, page by page after we read it, looking at the pictures and talking about what happened in the story.

Alexander is the new kid in town and he is noticing a lot of strange things happening. The balloon goons you see in front of car deale
My son Morgan is in the third grade (he's nine years old and has ADHD), and was having a hard time finding books on his grade level that weren't a bit long (and to him, a little daunting; he can read well but doesn't like to commit to a long book like Harry Potter). I think it's a confidence issue; he's just not sure enough of his abilities to want the longer chapter books. All he wanted to read was comic books like Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. Of course the pictures were also of benefit to h ...more
Tom Malinowski
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, humor
While at work, a young patron asked if we had #13 and in the midst of our conversation I said I'd read #1 and he could quiz me the next time he comes in. Quick funny read and I can see the appeal. Alexander Bopp has moved to Stermont and his hesitation is palpable - new school, how to make new friends, and how to handle the balloon goons. ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5/ 5 stars. Finally! This is one of the best, illustrated, early chapter books that I've read in a long time. Cummings has expertly woven humor, mild suspense, excitement, and creativity into this book that young readers will love. ...more
Amy Layton
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Marketed as a "Branches" book in order to help kids learn to read and learn to love to read, Rise of the Balloon Goons features a fast-paced plot about a new kid in school alongside illustrations and a few peeks into The Notebook of Doom itself.  Introverted Alexander is new in town, and while he does have some expectations for how towns are supposed to operate, this town certainly does not abide by those rules.  With strange teachers, weird school mates, and an abundance of missing air in tires ...more
Diane Lynch
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rise of the Balloon Goons is a third-grade reading level book. This book contains 89 pages for new independent chapter readers. Fun illustrations.

Alexander Bopp, AKA Al, is the main character. Al is new new kid in the town of Stermont. The book starts with Al’s dad bringing him to his first day of school at his new school. Things don’t goes as planned. Al must find his own way to school The adventures since dad can’t drive in. The adventure begins and doesn’t stop. There’s a map along with many
Becky B
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alexander Bopp and his dad have just moved to the town of Stermont. Just getting used to a new place has put Alexander on edge enough, but after breakfast at a diner he and his dad come out to find all four tires on their car flat. Not only that, but every single car on the street has flat tires. Weird. He has to walk to his new school and could swear some of those balloon things that are put outside car dealerships attack him. Things come to a head when his dad gets a bouncy house for his birth ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My 6 year old read this and would not stop talking about it. He loved it so much that he asked me if I would read it, too. I did, and I've got to say this is such a cute, funny, and engaging early chapter book! I loved how it integrated funny illustrations, text features (such as maps, captions, and labels), and even had fun extension activities at the end of the book. The main character, Alexander, moves to a new city that seems to be very mysterious in a funny-creepy way. In this first book he ...more
Megan Green
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a funny and silly read that my boys loved and I thought was really entertaining! We will definitely read more!
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Alexander has moved to a new town with his father. He immediately notices something strange about the town - there are a lot of those big bendy balloon guys around. The flapping fiends keep showing up in strange and unexpected places. And to make things even more crazy, air starts disappearing from everything - tires, footballs, bouncy houses, etc... As Alexander tries to fit in at his new school - which is temporarily being held in a hospital - he is also trying to solve a mystery that seems to ...more
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
My lower elementary aged daughter read this book to me. Despite the title, this is not a scary book. She absolutely loved it and will be reading more in the series. A great chapter book for kids making the switch to chapter books - engaging, challenging without being too hard, and funny while still having a serious storyline.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This was pretty cute...and quite creepy. Not, like, "inappropriate" creepy--more like "creepy because I, too, am terrified of those arm-waving balloon men and this story confirmed that they are, in fact, demons who are out to attack me". I think this one is too young for my middle schoolers, but younger readers will like the suspense and humor. (If they're not afraid of balloon men.) ...more
Austin Phadoungsyavong
I think not real because if you find book DOOM and read then you have no idea what you read for this book DOOM or you want tell your family or friend make sure who are you and they think you are crazy or weird because no believe.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"My favorite part is when Alexander and Rip destroyed that balloon goon snake!" ...more
RPL Children's Library
By Jai'anna, age 9: The book was good. It was funny and it had balloon goons trying to attack the kids. ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-love-this-book
This Book 📚 is AMAZING 😉!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought this book 📚 was going to be very boring but it was AMAZING 😉
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens, 2019
Adventure, humor, G-rated “scary” monster mystery. Can see why kids enjoy it.
Misty Mount
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-little-guy
My son and I read this in two days. He was attentive the entire time and I never lost interest as well. So glad we discovered a fun series!!!
Alicia Letsche
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rise of the Balloon Goons starts with Alexander and his dad moving to a new town. The biggest thing that a kid like Alexander should have to worry about when moving to an unfamiliar place is adjusting to a new school and making new friends. However, things aren't so simple. For starters, his school is temporarily set up in a hospital. But if that's not enough of a weird introduction to the town of Stermont, he notices an eerie presence of balloon goons throughout the town, and some strange thing ...more
Teresa Scherping Moulton
Alexander and his dad have just moved to a town called Stermont, and right away things get weird. A creepy balloon goon (you know, those dancing balloon guys that are sometimes outside stores?) smacks into their car. Not long after, Alexander and his dad discover that all four of their tires are flat. This means that Alexander will have to walk to his new school on the first day, but when he gets there the place is eerily empty and looks like it's being demolished. What is going on in Stermont? ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperback, childrens
{My thoughts} – Alexander is the new kid in school. His first day of school is anything but normal. He and his dad stop at a diner to get some breakfast and when they come out their car has flat tires. Then his dad sends him to walk to school, but he ends up at the wrong building. It would appear that the school is actually in the middle of being torn down. While he is at the wrong building he finds a notebook with many different monsters listed in it. Then the principal of his school shows up a ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
*This review was verbally created by an 8-year-old boy, and transcribed by me*

My favorite character is Alexander, of course, because his name is my name.

I do not like the notebook’s drawings of the monsters because they’re hard to read and not part of the book! Well, I do like the pictures but not the writing and descriptions.

The speech bubble that said “Aaahhh!” for both Alexander and Rip was funny. And the balloon goon guys were really cool (and maybe creepy).

It wasn’t scary. It was a litt
Dorine White
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alex Bopp is new in town, and he has 3 fears: spending his first night in a new house, going to a new school, and making new friends. Turns out these three things are child's play when Alex discovers, The Notebook of Doom. The notebook describes all sorts of strange monsters, their fears, and their weaknesses. Alex can't believe what he's reading, until strange things involving balloon men start happening to him.

My Thoughts-
This is a really cute book. It states it is for k-2 readers, but some of
Erik Oberg
After moving to a strange new town, young Alexander Bopp barely has time to learn his own new address before he is already attacked by monstrous dancing balloons and before being stuck with the nickname 'Salamander Snot'! The frustration from the nickname seems to go away pretty quickly, but not these creepy dancing balloons that seem to keep appearing everywhere he goes. He also stumbles upon an odd notebook filled with very precise information and drawings about the most bizarre-sounding creat ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, juvenile
I started this series with the book Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables (The Notebook of Doom, #4).. The title and cover just made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed that so I went back to get this book which is the first in the series to see just how Alexander winds up in this strange town crawling with monsters that no one seems to notice. The idea of those "bendy balloon guys" that are used to attract customers is such a novel idea to make into a menacing monster - fun colored and cute but WHAM th ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children ages 5 and older
Recommended to iamGamz by:
Shelves: kids
I bought this book for Stephen, my 5 year old grandson, as a stocking stuffer. I saw the book on Amazon and loved the look of the book and the bold illustrations. I thought it was something that he may like. Of course, I read it before wrapping it and I enjoyed the story. However, it wasn't my opinion that mattered, it was Stephen's, and he LOVES this book.

Stephen enjoys reading and devours his books, but this is the first real "chapter" book that he has read and it's a whole new experience for
Anthony Kerr
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic series by Scholastic's Branches imprint.

I'm always looking for a good series to read my son before bed each night, and if you have a boy, you know the pickings are pretty slim in this area. Luckily Troy Cummings new series, "The Notebook of Doom", is exactly what I've been searching for.

The series follows the adventures of Alexander Bopp, as he tries to solve the mysterious happenings in the town of Stermont, a town overrun with monsters. In this first book in the series, "Ri
Katherine Sevigney
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edu-511-513
For my discussion topic surrounding this book is about using this book (series) to get boys who are reluctant readers to read and enjoy it. This is not a traditional chapter book. It has short chapters. The pages are not dominated by words. The pictures and words are filled with action. It almost reads like a graphic novel. I am wondering if other teachers have found that their boys love this series. I am wondering if teachers have used this book series to try to get the reluctant boys to read. ...more
Kelsey McLane
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
No one likes moving to a new town and school when they are still young. Alexander is no exception. But while walking around town with his father, he notices something very eerie. The inflatable balloon men in front of many places of business are glaring at him...some even look like they are following them!

Inflatable balloon men have always been funny, but this book talks about if they became the evil villain! Alexander not only tries to fit in at his new school, but he has to deal with
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Other books in the series

The Notebook of Doom (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Day of the Night Crawlers (The Notebook of Doom, #2)
  • Attack of the Shadow Smashers (The Notebook of Doom, #3)
  • Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables (The Notebook of Doom, #4)
  • Whack of the P-Rex (The Notebook of Doom, #5)
  • Pop of the Bumpy Mummy (The Notebook of Doom, #6)
  • Flurry of the Snombies (The Notebook of Doom, #7)
  • Charge of the Lightning Bugs (The Notebook of Doom #8)
  • Rumble of the Coaster Ghost (The Notebook of Doom, #9)
  • Snap of the Super-Goop (The Notebook of Doom, #10)
  • Sneeze of the Octo-Schnozz (The Notebook of Doom, #11)

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