The Human Kaboom
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adam Rubin's The Human Kaboom is a funny, imaginative collection of six wildly different stories all with the same name but with uneven results. The plots and characters include pirate ghosts, outer space adventures, siblings surviving on an island looking for their parents, a runaway hiding in the forest for years, a dead author, and more. The characters persevere through strange and dangerous situations, and show a lot of curiosity for the world around them. While the jokes and wordplay are hilarious and constant, some of the stories run a bit long and can be too detailed for some readers. There's no doubt about the humor here though, and the creativity in crafting these stories. Each one is illustrated by a different artist. At the end of the book, Rubin asks readers to send him their own stories, tells them how to revise, and includes a tasty popcorn recipe.
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What's the Story?
Adam Rubin's THE HUMAN KABOOM is a collection of six stories, unrelated except for sharing the same name. A human cannonball takes things to another level of difficulty with his kaboom; a reclusive, mysterious writer seems to have exploded but no one can figure out the details. One kaboom is in space, during a school field trip inside a human anatomy museum, another when a trio of fighting siblings tries to survive a rock monster invasion on an island while looking for their parents. A mysterious pirate kaboom is in store for a young boy visiting his sister in a wintery fishing town, and a young boy with mysterious powers runs away to become a hermit in the Canadian wilderness. Each story has a human kaboom and plenty of mystery.
Is It Any Good?
Creativity and humor overflow each of the six stories, and while wordplay and crazy situations can capture readers' interest, the stories are a bit uneven and are best read with a break between each. The Human Kaboom is full of heart, compassion, humor, and ingenuity, and introduce memorable characters that are relatable despite their tendency to explode. The names and places are funny to read (especially if said out loud), and the premise of six stories with the same name inspires creativity for readers. The black-and-white illustrations bring life to words and Rubin's final story in the book, the one that hasn't been written yet, is a lovely request for readers to write and send him their own stories. He includes advice on revising and rereading, followed by a recipe for homemade popcorn.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the siblings behave toward each other on the island in The Human Kaboom. How do you react when you're mad at someone you care about?
Do you ever feel like you'd like to live alone in the woods like Henry? Why or why not?
What would your Human Kaboom story be about?
- Author: Adam Rubin
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Pirates, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Curiosity, Perseverance
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: February 21, 2023
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 416
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: February 25, 2023
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