Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker
By Amanda May Dundas,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Boy strives to make his mark in funny family tale.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teddy's determination to break a world record is inspirational. Shows the value of setting a goal and working hard to achieve it, even if the end results aren't as expected.
Positive Role Models
Teddy may lose his temper or give his younger brother a not-so-nice nickname ("the Destructor"), but deep down he's a good kid trying to do the right thing in a family that can be overwhelming at times. Teddy struggles with his quirky older sisters, a lack of privacy, and apathy from his harried parents, who deem his brother's antics as more cute than problematic. Teddy's good friends and seemingly oddball but ultimately kind and interesting next-door neighbor help him in his quest.
Violence & Scariness
All of Teddy's antics are good-spirited, and there's nothing that will scare even the youngest of readers.
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Teddy calls his younger brother (who messes with his stuff) "the Destructor."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker is a funny, trivia-laden story about 10-year-old Teddy, a smart kid yet average student, who's obsessed with the Guinness Book of World Records and figuring out how he can earn a spot in it. He has five not-so-nice older sisters and one well-meaning but bothersome little brother who destroys Teddy's stuff so often he earns the name the Destructor. Although the sibling rivalry can turn negative at times, the overall message is one of familial love trumping all annoyances. Star Wars fans will love the numerous references and obscure facts about the movies that pepper this book, and all kids will enjoy learning about many fascinating, and sometimes gross, record-breaking feats. A great choice for reluctant readers.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
As one of seven kids, fourth-grader Teddy Mars has to dream big if he wants to stand out. Intent on breaking a world record, Teddy won't let his pesky little brother, strict teacher, or harried parents get in his way. Frustrated by all these things that are out of his control, Teddy moves out of his overcrowded house and into a backyard tent, where he befriends the oddball next-door neighbor, known as Grumpy Pigeon Man. With some help from his friends and a new job provided by Grumpy Pigeon Man, Teddy is sure he can succeed in his quest to break a world record. The question is: Which one?
Is It Any Good?
TEDDY MARS: ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER is upbeat and amusing and will delight readers of all ages. Young readers likely will relate to Teddy's frustration with his lack of privacy and overbearing siblings, while adults will empathize with Teddy's parents, who are so busy dealing with the demands of a large household that they don't have the time or energy to deal with petty squabbles. Teddy is well-meaning even when he's misguided, and both adults and kids will be cheering him on by the end.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why it's important to have goals. Have you ever set a goal and strived to reach it? How did you go about it?
Teddy's obsessed with the Guinness Book of World Records. Have you ever checked out the book? Why do you think it's so popular with kids and grown-ups?
Does the way Teddy and his brother and sisters squabble seem realistic? How do you get along with the people in your family?
- Author: Molly B. Burnham
- Illustrator: Trevor Spencer
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Great Boy Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: March 24, 2015
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 31, 2015
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