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The King of Average

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  56 reviews
James isn’t the world’s greatest kid, but he’s not the worst, either: he’s average! When he decides to become the most average kid who ever lived, James is transported to another world where he meets Mayor Culpa, a well-dressed talking Scapegoat who recruits him to become the new King of Average.

He’s joined on his quest by a professional Optimist and his grouchy companion,
Paperback, New format, 228 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Bunny Moon (first published October 7th 2015)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  76 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Eleven-year-old James knows he’s just average, but he's decided to be the most average person. Shortly thereafter he meets Mayor Culpa, a talking goat who wears spectacles and a vest. Culpa escorts James to the Kingdom of Average, located within the Realm of Possibility where James is offered the chance to be the King of Average. But the Law of Averages state that James must first complete a task. Teaming up with Mayor Culpa, as well as Roget, a professional Optimist, and Kiljoy, a professional ...more
Bentley ★
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Plot at a Glance
Eleven year old James - the protagonist of this tale - is perfectly average at everything he does. He's not especially bright, nor clever, or particularly talented at anything. How could he forget his shortcomings with a mother who makes a hobby out of pointing them out? James has a choice: wallow in self-pity and frustration, or embrace that which he is and become the most average 11 year old boy to have ever lived. When his choice is made, James is magically transported to a
Can you imagine a mother telling her young child she hates him and he has ruined her life? How much pain must be inside that woman for it to boil out like that and why? James tried to be good, to not be a burden to his mother, but it never seemed to matter. He isn’t the best kid in the world and he isn’t the worst. He is average, like most of us. Join James as he enters anther world where the land of Average needs a new king and off he goes to take the throne. Accompanying him are a scapegoat, a ...more
Max Lau • Maxxesbooktopia
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars-books, arcs
That was actually pretty good! Review to come...
monica ♪
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

James is an average kid. He's literally 'average' at everything. Average height, average name, average at his academic skills, etc. But he doesn't want to be just 'average'. He wants to be the most average kid who ever lived.
And then suddenly he is transported to another world... And he's about to be the King of Average!
This book will take you to another world where James and his new friends go for interesting adventures.

The concept of this story is pretty unique. How the author named t
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, middle-grade
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

James is an average boy. He does okay in school, but never exceeds expectations. He is not great at sports but is never picked last for teams, and even his mother doesn’t expect big things from him. Which is why James isn’t too surprised when he ends up in the land of Average and is set out on a quest to become the King of Average.

This was a really fun, imaginative and fast-paced read that I really think a mi
Whispering Stories
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure I was qualified to review a story predominantly aimed at children, so I found three people who fitted the criteria and we read the book together; so thank you to Noah, Alistair and Ralph for their input.

The story is funny, engaging and imaginative and the characters intriguing. Scapegoat’s appearance was a real talking point for the boys and we all loved the concept of Roget the optimist and Kiljoy the pessimist. I particularly liked the wonderful play on words running throughout t
Liz Pollinger
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
James is a young boy whose father abandoned him and his mother constantly tells him he ruined her life. As hard as he tries he cannot seem to do anything right in his mother's eyes. He knows he is not a great kid, but he's not so bad either, he strives to be just average. So begins his quest to become The King of Average. One day he is transported to another place where he is met by quite a cast of characters including, Mayor Culpa - a scapegoat, a professional Optimist and his surly companion, ...more
La La
I'm not even going to waste my time trying to explain my thoughts on this "story" because it's just brain spew. The author tried to copy the styles of Baum, Lewis, and Jeff Kinney and then mash them up thinking this is what Middle Grade aged readers will like to read. The writing is just plain awful. At first I thought it was an Adult Fiction parody of the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, but it's not. He used so many outdated terms and phrases the kids will be staring at the ceiling and pi ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
My thanks to NetGalley and Bunny Moon Enterprises, LLC/Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

I was SUPER excited to see that this book was being offered on NetGalley, as I absolutely LOVED "Orbiting Jupiter" by the same author. (Seriously, that book is so good, you should stop reading this review and read that book. It's short, I'll wait.)

This one's his first book and it has that sort of feel to it. He has g
Lauren Jones
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was provided with a copy of The King of Average in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say that this is a fantastic story! This story begins with a boy named James who believes that he is—you got it…he believes he is average. His mother shows him nothing, but disappointment and hatred when he brings hope his report card reflecting C’s. Upon finding a goat in the middle of the road one day, James becomes curious to how it got there. As he inches closer, trying not to scare the goat—bo ...more
Sandra Stiles
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the moment I began reading this book I had several thoughts go through my head. The first was how
sorry I felt for James. As a teacher I've actually heard parents tell their kids they hated them and wished they'd never been born. I've heard them blame the father's. This book immediately resonated with me as I am sure it will with so many of my students. The author has commented that his ideas came from several places, especially his favorite book, "The Phantom Tollbooth". I can see how the w
Sheri J.
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am delighted to have had the chance to be an ARC reader for this book. What fun! THE KING OF AVERAGE ranks high above the average read.

The clever wordplay and humor are noteworthy, but my favorite thing about the book is its old-fashioned sense of story. And I don’t mean the ‘old-fashioned’ that’s dusty and crusty and drear. I mean that fantastic and currently rare quality of creating an atmosphere that’s so vivid you can step inside. The story comes to life before your ‘eyes’.

Vibrant and som
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The word play and humor in this book are a real joy! With characters like Mayor Culpa the scapegoat, James a purely "average" boy sets out on a quest to become the new King of Average. Filled with puns and life lessons, this story unfolds in a completely enjoyable manner, with voices and personality true to each character. This book is one that I would love to read aloud, or be read aloud to. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for redemption in being "average". ...more
Jacki ♡
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
James is a very average kid. He received all C's in school, he is ok at sports but not great, he gets along with other kids, but wouldn't say he has a lot of friends. One day, James has a thought and exclaims that he must be the most average person alive! James' exclamation is heard and he is approached by a not-so-average talking goat named Mayor Culpa. Mayor Culpa wants James to be the new King of Average since their former king has disappeared. Mayor Culpa transports James to the Land of Aver ...more
Patricia Hamill
The King of Average is an adventure set in a world where the geography and its citizens are divided by just how above or below average they are. James, who is rather ordinary, gets pulled into the world when he decides he’d like to be the most average boy ever and then gets recruited for the job of King of Average.

For me, the humorous characters were the biggest draw. Mayor Culpa the scapegoat is great, always shouting out that whatever it is, it is his fault. The optimist and pessimist are also
Jacinta Carter
James is a straight-C student, always lands in the middle when told to line up by height, and is never picked first or last for teams. Nothing about him sets him apart from anyone else. This makes him the perfect candidate to become the new king of a land called Average. But before taking his throne, he must first find the former king and ask why he did something so unusual as to run away from Average. Joined by a literal scapegoat, a professional optimist, and a pint-sized pessimist, James sets ...more
K.D. Reed
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great character friendships, with a flavor of The Phantom Tollbooth
(I did receive a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own)
Total: 14/20
While this book lacked the charm of The Phantom Tollbooth, it had the wonderful play on words in a magical world. My favorite part of the story was the characters. All different. All interesting. All important. I loved the friendship aspect to the story and the fun
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The title sums up how I felt about this book. It was average for me. I enjoyed some of the characters, but from the begining I was disturbed by how the mother treated her son. Lines like "I wish you were never born" are ones that I personally never get along with, and no matter how much I tried enjoying the rest of the book, I was continually bothered by those phrases. Ive also read more middle grade with better writing and; no pun intended, I felt that it was just average, although the author e ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
James is an average boy who lives with a mother that says “she ruined his life” and a father that left. He just wants to be loved. In this fantasy book, James is on a quest to be just that, “average” and be the best at being average, therefore becoming King of Average. He meets a scapegoat who helps him along the way and takes the blame for anything that goes wrong even though it is not his fault. In this quest to become King of Average, James has to find the old King to find out why he left. Th ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was rather fond of this story from start to finish. The word play is out of control, the characters memorable, and the tale being spun, fantastic enough to draw you in while heartfelt enough to surprise even the most everyday of readers. It was SO ROUGH having to see James treated the way he was, but I was so happy to see him hang on with BOTH hands to the family he's found, motley crew though it may be. Despite being all about average-ness, the quest was on the extraordinary side as they trav ...more
Erica Robyn Metcalf
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
The King of Average by Gary Schwartz is a story filled with adventure, a talking goat and other intriguing characters, and locations with very interesting names. This book was also packed with lessons about growing up and figuring out your purpose.
I loved the plot of self-discovery. For a middle grade novel, this topic is certainly very important!

The characters were all so fun and different! For example, there was Mayor Culpa, a "scapegoat" that took the blame for everything. And there was Mons
Indigo Crayon
I was provided with a free copy of the ebook in exchange an honest review.

2.5 or 3

I'm not going too deep into a review here since I was sent it for my YT channel and I'm going to do most of it there, but I'll share some of my thoughts here as well:

I enjoyed seeing the main character's character growth. There is so much in this book that you could discuss with a child who is reading this or if you're reading this in a classroom. A lot of this book's humor comes from playing on words, especially i
Tonja Drecker
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quirky and clever—this adventure is packed full of smart humor, tons of unexpected twists and things to think about along the way.

James is average, as average as average can be. When he runs into a speaking goat, his averageness seems to be endangered until he's swept away to Average itself and is recruited to become the next king. Still, he needs to prove himself truly average-worthy, and this takes him on a journey unlike any he could have ever imagined.

This book offers an amazing mixture of f
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
A middle-grade adventure story with some clever word-plays.
This is going to be a difficult review to write as I'm not quite sure how I feel about this audiobook. It was a middle-grade adventure story with a large number of word-plays and puns, that seemed to be more directed at adult readers; yet the adventure itself was more suited for a younger audience.
The audio version was expertly read by the actor, turned author, Gary Schwartz.

James is an average kid, with a mother who is too busy to give
Mar 11, 2021 rated it liked it
James is an average 10 year old boy with average grades and an average life. One day, he decides he wants to be the most average person in the world. He suddenly finds himself in the land of Average where they are looking for a new king. To become king, he must complete a quest, so he sets off to lands such as Accusia, Uppity, Flatterlander, and others. He’s joined on his quest by a scapegoat, an optimist, and a pessimist. Together, they try to help James achieve his goal of being completely ave ...more
Jill Jemmett
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very cute middle grade story.

It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. James travels through the land of Average, much like Dorothy and Alice travelled through their magical lands. James also encountered many strange creatures just like them.

There are countless puns and jokes in this story. The names, such as Kiljoy the pessimist and Mayor Culpa the scapegoat, were funny. Some of the names of the places they visited included The Sea of Doubt and Lake Inferior. These n
C.P. Cabaniss
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

This is a really cleverly thought out story about a boy who believes that he can't do anything right and decides to become the most average person in the world.

The characters in the story are all quite fun and the narration adds a nice voice for each of them. Killjoy was one of my favorites.

The world that James is thrust into is quite fascinating. With places like Average, Uppity, and the Flatter Lands things are bound to be interesting. I kept thinking about how clever the naming an
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Funny, interesting read and an interesting story line. James is an average child. Deciding to become the best average child takes him to another world, the land of Average, where he is nominated to be King. But first, he needs to find the former King. His quest takes him through many lands and he meets many characters such as the scapegoat, the Mayor Culpa, and a professional optimist. He travels through the Sea of Doubt and the Unattainable Mountains.

Would make for a good read aloud - would le
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Gary Schwartz began his professional career as a mime at age 13, performing up and down the Hudson River with Pete Seeger and the great folk entertainers of the 1960s. In the 1980s he appeared in numerous film and television projects including the Oscar-winning feature film Quest for Fire. Schwartz has lent his voice to hundreds of film and TV projects and is the voice of several well-known video ...more

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