Thursday, May 8, 2008

Join the Weird Club

Remember when you were a kid and things like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs were cool things to read about? I do, I LOVED all of that weird stuff. Some of my favorite books were the ones with short entries on strange occurrences in nature, or history, still are. Randy Fairbanks has started a series called The Weird Club that are written in journal form from the viewpoint of Mark Aldrich and his Weird Club friends. The kids are going to LOVE it!

The first of what I hope will be many more is called The Weird Club The Search for the New Jersey Devil. Mark starts a club of one member, himself, to investigate all things weird, ghosts, mythical monsters, natural phenomenon and other assorted unexplainable events. When he finds out the school will sponsor the club if he can get five members he begins his campaign. Soon the club is up to three members, another Mark, Mark Brownlow, and they become Mark A. and Mark B. shortly after, Stella, another outcast joins the club, and the research begins. In this first book, the story revolves mostly around the New Jersey Devil, a mythical beast that is part horse, part dragon, part human and inhabits the wooded area behind the home of Mark A's grandparents. Along the way other legends, myths and stories are shared. The club presents facts on The Donkey Lady in San Antonio, Shoe Trees, and other weird art, everywhere, the Coral Castle in Homestead, FL, and Sasquatch just to name a few.

The characters are extremely well done, but my favorite has to be Mark A's grandfather. He encourages Marks searches with video cameras in the back yard, and taking long walks in the alleged home of the New Jersey Devil looking for clues. He always where tube socks on his hands and rubber bands around his sleeves and pant legs to keep the ticks away. All in all a very entertaining character.

The journal format makes this a book kids won't be able to put down. The story is fast paced and photos of various weird things are everywhere. There is also the underlying message about being yourself no matter what others think, do what you enjoy, and remember to stand up for yourself, but really kids are just going to have fun with this one. I won't be a bit surprised if they start putting together ghost hunting kits and throwing old shoes in trees.

Check out The Weird Club website here.

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