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The best children s books ever I used to read these and laugh and laugh All about some kids in boarding school in Canada They put Alka selzer in the poolmy brother says the author, who wrote his first novel when he was 14, now lives in Long Island Another entertaining Bruno and Boots adventure I actually read this one first but nothing was lost by the mis ordering. I love this series, but found the really random and inconsistent updates to be jarring. Canadian children s author Gordon Korman has had a long career as the prolific writer of humorous, exciting, and easy to read novels geared toward grades 4 to 9 He started writing at age 12, when he wrote This Can t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall for a seventh grade English class Over the course of nearly 20 years after the publication of this first MacDonald Hall book, Korman published a total of 7 titles about the boarding school exploits of best friends Bruno and Boots.This month, I read t Canadian children s author Gordon Korman has had a long career as the prolific writer of humorous, exciting, and easy to read novels geared toward grades 4 to 9 He started writing at age 12, when he wrote This Can t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall for a seventh grade English class Over the course of nearly 20 years after the publication of this first MacDonald Hall book, Korman published a total of 7 titles about the boarding school exploits of best friends Bruno and Boots.This month, I read them all This Can t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall 1977 Go Jump in the Pool 1979 Beware the Fish 1980 The War with Mr Wizzle 1982 The Zucchini Warriors 1988 MacDonald Hall Goes Hollywood 1991 Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall 1995 The series stars best friends and roommates Bruno Walton and Melvin Boots O Neal, who are known pranksters on the MacDonald Hall campus Though the two boys often butt heads with their headmaster, the long suffering yet fair minded Mr Sturgeon, whom they call The Fish, they also have a fond affection for their school The boys and their classmates also have many associations with students at Miss Scrimmage s Finishing School for Young Ladies, which is located across the road from MacDonald Hall, and whose high strung Headmistress frequently overreacts to late night visits from MacDonald Hall students by wildly wielding a shotgun Each book of the series focuses on a different major scheme involving Bruno and Boots Sometimes, they seek to make a particular improvement to their school, such as a pool or a recreation center Other times, they go to war with a particular teacher who is making their lives difficult, or with an outside force that threatens to close the school In the final two books, they even befriend a Hollywood celebrity and uncover a phantom prankster What I love about these books is their sense of humor Last spring, I attended a talk by two children s illustrators who insisted that the key to humor in children s books is underwear and toilet jokes I found this to be a disappointing underestimation of what kids are capable of finding funny, but I was also hard pressed to think of many examples of funny books, especially funny books targeted at boys, that could make kids laugh without resorting to crude humor Thankfully, I have been reminded that this series fits that bill exactly Perhaps because Korman started writing these when he was himself an adolescent, he completely understands what middle school boys find funny, and he delivers it in every single book Pranks, schemes, disasters, explosions, science experiments, sporting events these are the backdrops for Korman s jokes, and most of the time, they are clever, respectful and well executed Even when the characters disobey their teachers, they often do so in the name of a noble cause that helps their school or their friends Also refreshing is the complete lack of serious dating in these books There are some storylines involving long distance and unrequited crushes, but none of the preoccupation with having exclusive girlfriends and boyfriends that seems prevalent incontemporary books The girls of Miss Scrimmage s particularly Cathy and Diane are not presented as potential romantic partners for Bruno, Boots, and their friends, but as partners in crime, good friends, and pranksters in their own right All the female characters are actually very well done, including Mrs Sturgeon, the headmaster s wife, whose affection for Bruno and Boots often keeps her husband from acting rashly in his punishment of them Are the MacDonald Hall books great literature Probably not But neither are they to be completely dismissed as fluff or twaddle For boys who like funny books, but whose parents would prefer not to promote toilet humor or worse, crude jokes with a sexual basis , they are the perfect escapist read Interestingly, these books have also recently been turned into a series of films, which are all available to stream on Netflix I watched half of the first one, Go Jump in the Pool , and noted some differences, mainly in the age of the characters MacDonald Hall seems to be a high school in the movie world and in the character of Miss Scrimmage who is now a peace loving hippie and not an unhinged woman with a shotgun , but overall, I didn t think it was terrible I would definitely recommend reading the books first, but fans of the series will probably enjoy the film adaptations.This review also appears on my blog, Read at Home Mom [ READ E-PUB ] ♏ Go Jump in the Pool! ♖ When Bruno and Boots learn that Macdonald Hall is about to lose some of its best students to its arch rival, York Academy, because the Hall doesn t have a swimming pool, they go on the warpath, determined to save the school But their fundraising schemes turn to hilarious chaos The Names of Birds York Academy The Names of Birds because the Hall doesn t have a swimming pool Bonded to the Alpha Wolf they go on the warpath Prophet of Blood: The Untold Story of Ervil Lebaron and the Lambs of God determined to save the school But their fundraising schemes turn to hilarious chaos One of my favorites of the Bruno and Boots series This is a hilarious, clever, sometimes touching story that in my opinion still holds up today The characters are fabulous Miss Scrimmage is one of the funniest , and Bruno and Boots are constantly getting into sticky situations Whether the two boys are organizing a disastrous talent show or trying to handle an out of control funny photo contest, there is never a dull moment in this book Update There are now three movies adapting this book an One of my favorites of the Bruno and Boots series This is a hilarious, clever, sometimes touching story that in my opinion still holds up today The characters are fabulous Miss Scrimmage is one of the funniest , and Bruno and Boots are constantly getting into sticky situations Whether the two boys are organizing a disastrous talent show or trying to handle an out of control funny photo contest, there is never a dull moment in this book Update There are now three movies adapting this book and two of the others, and if you love the series they are worth checking out Technological elements are updated pretty seamlessly despite the odd cringy moment , and the spirit of the books is recaptured faithfully I was stalled from finishing Go Jump in the Poolbecause it unexpectedly hits my embarrassment squick and I had to put the book down for a bit Obviously, I was able to move on Go Jump in the Poolcontinues to be as lighthearted, funny, and sweet as set by previous and later books in the series However, there s really nothing remarkable about this book that set it apart from the rest of the series. I just re read this for the first time since I was about 12 At that age, I LOVED Gordon Korman s books I am now collecting them for my kids I have to say that Gordon Korman is still the funniest author I have ever read. My re education begins Someone should have asked me to write a review when I was eleven, because I love this book too much to pick it apart.