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3.44  ·  Rating details ·  1,128 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
Mudshark is the go-to guy for any mysteries that need solving. Lost your shoe? Can’t find your homework? Ask Mudshark. That is, until the Psychic Parrot takes up residence in the school library and threatens to overturn Mudshark’s position as the guy who knows all the answers. The word in school is that the parrot can out-think Mudshark. And right now, the school needs som ...more
Hardcover, 83 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Ellie Yes, i do know what the story is about because i have read it

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

MUDSHARK is a great addition to any Gary Paulsen collection. It's not the HATCHET adventure type, but rather one of the crazy, mad-cap mishap stories like HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME and LAWN BOY.

Mudshark is actually Lyle Williams. He got his name for his lightning speed and his incredible observation skills. These are skills he honed while keeping an eye on Kara, Sara, and Tara, his triplet sisters. When they became mobile, lif
Jul 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Great writing. Just ... not much of a story. Does that make sense?

By great writing I mean like the following (page 18 and 19):
"There are many ways to describe Ms. Underdorf.
She was brilliant and joyous and she believed--probably correctly--that libraries contain the answers to all things, to everything, and that if you can't find the information you seek in the library, then such information probably does not exist in this or any parallel universe now or ever to be known.
She was thoughtful an
Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Over the years Gary Paulsen has created some memorable characters, and twelve-year-old Lyle Williams (known to friends and admirers as Mudshark) may join the ranks of his fan favorites. Mudshark is the epitome of Joe Cool, owner of a dazzling logical mind that never misses a trick when he's on the trail of a mystery or missing object in the vicinity of his school. He's the only member of his family never outwitted or overwhelmed by his younger triplet sisters, Kara, Sara, and Tara, who are freq ...more
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kori Looker
Jan 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Mudshark is one of the weirdest books I have ever read. If you like odd books, I recommend this book to you. The reading level is around the fourth grade level. Mudshark is about a fast-thinking go-to guy if anyone has questions or problems. Mudshark’s name is Lyle Williams but he’s known as Mudshark throughout the book. Well, Mudshark is a detective at his school and his enemy is the physic parrot who thinks he can outsmart Mudshark. Erasers go missing and Mudshark uses his skills to solve the ...more
Aaron Schroeder
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it
In the novel "Mudshark" by Gary Paulsen, the main character is the kind of kid who everybody comes to when they need something solved. Mudshark continues with this role until a psychic parrot comes into the school and starts making Mudshark look bad. He is then put to the test to prove to himself that he is better than the parrot. I recommend this book to all kids in middle school and older, because it is an easy and fun book to read.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. "Mudshark" is Paulsen's answer to "Harriet the Spy" meets "Joe Cool". I was a bit puzzled by the rogue parrot's intellectualization, but I liked the protagonist's comparative savvy. Each chapter begins with a broadcast from the principal's office, bellowing an update on several school happenings. The school's population is eccentric, but lovable. "Mudshark" was a fast read, and the characters' antics would be interesting to 9 to 11 year-olds.
Dan Tews
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Mudshark" is a great book for all kids at all reading levels because it is an easy and fast read. This book is a hard book to put down because once you start it you have to finish it. "Mudshark" is an easy book to follow and understand but at the same time makes you think. It also makes you put the pieces of the story together. The characters in "Mudshark" are mysterious and some are very funny. This book is a good book to just sit down and read on a rainy weekend.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 5th-grade-plus
The characters were too oddball and random for me, so overall, I did not enjoy this book as much as other Gary Paulsen books. I think an upper elementary student would find this quick read humorous, but I thought the characters and events were either bizarre or boring.
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very funny. Kids will love this and teachers reading it aloud will laugh as well.
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Good book. It's very hilarious and mysterious, but a bit to short for me. I think people who like stories that are short and funny, then this book is for Y-O-U!
Sep 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Would be better if has some more adventure instead of just mysteries.
Goshen PL Childrens
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun read! It really felt like something that you would read in a collection of short stories, only this was slightly longer than a typical short story. Regardless, it had a very similar plot structure to most short stories. It was a quick read with only a handful of characters, with only one or two really fleshed out characters. All good things to have in a short story. On top of that it was humorous. I loved the little anecdotes from the principal's announcements. I was constantly trying ...more
Lynne White
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I was not impressed with this one. Aaron is currently reading this for his English class. I felt it was too young for 11 and 12 year olds. This is something 4th graders should read. Lyle, aka Mudshark finds lost items. His ways are being challenged by the school's new pet parrot. Erasers have gone missing, all of them, and Mudshark is assigned the task of locating them. This was a vacation-assigned read, so perhaps that's why it seemed out of place.
Rebekah Wampler
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
My Book Club of students loved the book and all said they'd recommend it to a friend. For me, as an adult reader, it wasn't one of my top reads haha, but I would definitely use it again with another student group.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
mudshark was a good book.Its was a good mystery.
Jeffery Worrell
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think this book was ok but it was not my favorite.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is very good .It even has my name in it so that i enjoyed reading it.It's not liked this book then any other book i have ever read.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read with my 5th graders. Fun read!
T. P. Jagger
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short, quick book with plenty of humor. I'd forgotten how funny some of Gary Paulsen's books were, but MUDSHARK provided the perfect reminder.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lyle is known as Mudshark because his speed and agility have been honed by dealing with triplet sisters who have a tendency to make a bee line for dog chewies and electrical outlets. He also has a knack for solving mysteries, and there are a lot of them at his school. Not only is the faculty restroom constantly filled with hazardous materials, but the chalkboard erasers keep going missing, a gerbil is running loose in the building, and the librarian has a foul-mouthed parrot that may or may not ...more
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Book talk: The word in the hallway is that if you've lost something, Mudshark can find it for you. But his keen observational skills help him with more than just finding lost items. There is no problem too big or too small for Mudshark and everyone goes to him if they've lost something. That is until Betty Crimper comes into the library one day to ask Mudshark about her lost paper and the parrot answers first. Even stranger, he's right. After that everyone starts going to the parrot with their p ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book to my intervention class. I thought it would be a light and funny read, but I felt it went a little over my 6th graders heads. Of course, these are students who need intervention, so that might be why they could not put together the pieces of what was happening in this book. There is quite a fair amount of sarcasm in this book, coupled with a very distinctive 3rd person point of view with complex syntax that at times was hard to follow.

Mudshark has an uncanny knack for telling s
Barb Middleton
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic
Mudshark can remember nearly everything. Lose something at school?

Ask Mudshark. He’ll know where it is.

Even adults ask for his help. When the Librarian buys a parrot, it too has great locating skills, and Mudshark’s stream of followers start to seek help from the Parrot.

Except for… the Principal.

He asks for Mudshark’s help in locating the school’s missing erasers and when Mudshark finds them he has to decide whether or not to turn in the culprit. Find out how he gets out of his dilemma and takes
Lisa Frase
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I finished reading aloud Mudshark to my fourth graders today. This book is on the Texas Bluebonnet list. It's interesting, but I find that my tongue had a tendency to trip over the many long sentences. I love Gary Paulson as a writer, but this book is a bit different from his usual voice and style.

Mudshark is one smart dude. He is extremely observant and highly intelligent. It's nice to have a super-sharp boy -who is not only smart, but totally cool, as the hero of the story. Mudshark makes rea
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had to read Mudshark for a library class and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by both its humor and its indomitable spirit.

My favorite things about the book are the beginning parts of almost every chapter where the school principal makes the most hysterical public announcements ("...and if you see the gerbil, would you please try to herd it toward room two oh six?")

Great writing made me jot down quotes such as:

-"It was all in the way your thoughts ran through your mind, the way
Bones Kendall
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Originally $4.99 but marked down to $1.99 at my kids' school book fair. A short, two dollar book is worth it. I read almost every night to my kids, after all. We consume a lot of pages.

So I picked up Mudshark not knowing anything about it or its author Gary Paulsen. I do know that Scholastic has a business model that gets some books published because the author is prolific, but I never begrudge an author for that.

I can't say why exactly, but I got the impression that Paulsen actually put somet
C.C. Thomas
Jun 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
Gary Paulsen is one of my favorite authors and so the expectation was high for this book. It isn't often that I can say I am disappointed in one of his books, but this one is not a typical Paulsen. Most of Paulsen's books fall into three categories: survival/adventure; true story survival/ adventure and humor. I have read and enjoyed dozens of Paulsen's book in each of these categories. With over 200 books to his name, it would be hard to keep up the Newberry pace of 'Hatchet'.

'Mudshark would f
Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I love Gary Paulson....really. I've read many of his books and loved him even more after hearing him tell hill literacy life story. However, I couldn't love Mudshark. I've picked it up twice, trying to entice kids to read it as non- Hatchet book. I'm not sure that kids would stick with it, either. The overall theme is a good one, underdog kid makes the win in Death Ball and becomes overnight sensation. He's able to locate lost items until a Psychic Parrot shows Mudshark up as the school detectiv ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, humor
Mudshark is so observant, that he's known for "finding" things that have been lost -- just because he noticed something that allows him to know things most people don't remember. But then the school librarian gets a parrot, which is just as observant. Just when Mudshark thought he was in competition for his memory skills, the principal calls on his skills to help find all the school's erasers, which have gone missing from every classroom. This main storyline is peppered with a loose gerbil terro ...more
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
More about Gary Paulsen...

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“She was brilliant and joyous and she believed- probably correctly- that libraries contain the answers to all things, to everything, and that if you can't find the information you seek in the library, then such information probably doesn't exist in this or any parallel universe now or ever to be known. She was thoughtful and kind and she always believed the best of everybody. She was, above all else, a master librarian and she knew where to find any book on any subject in the shortest possible time.

And she was wonderfully unhinged.”
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