Rated Reads

Whales on Stilts!

by M.T. Anderson

Rated: None

Readers of any age who are at all familiar with comic books, superhero stories in any form, or any old-style adventure tale will get a kick out of M.T. Anderson’s parody on the genre.

Heroine Lily is an average girl whose father works at an Abandoned Warehouse for a boss who has blue hands and always wears a sack over his head (who clearly is some kind of whale himself). But her father is unfazed by those odd facts and by all the other suspicious clues that surround him at his workaday job. Lily, the smart girl that she is, immediately gets concerned that her dad’s boss is going to take over the world with whales on stilts. Her dad’s response? “‘Oh, come on, honey. It’s not really as suspicious as it seems. We’re a midsize company devoted to expanding cetacean pedestrian opportunities.’”

So Lily enlists the help of her two friends, Jasper Dash, Boy Technonaut, who is the hero of a series of books, and Katie Mulligan, the heroine of a set of books. Readers will immediately be reminded of ’50s-style Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books, complete with clichés and all kinds of silliness and antiquated exclamations.

The trio gets in all kinds of jams and fixes, but their pluck and smarts help them to save the world, naturally (hey, this isn’t a spoiler, because in these types of books, the world always gets saved, see?). And along the way, their exploits provide plenty of giggles and grins.

Rated: None. No language or offensive content.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Whales on Stilts!
  • by M.T. Anderson
  • Rated: None
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: