A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Information about human anatomy, history, the scientific process, logic and deductive reasoning, survival skills, emotional regulation, and more.
Paying attention to small details can make a big impact. Persevere when you're in tough situations. Be curious about the things around you.
Positive Role Models
Marco's sister is kind, funny, and smart -- and listens to him. The siblings Victoria, Isa, and Miguel show they care about each other even when they're fighting. Most stories have characters who appreciate others' quirks.
There's a bit of racial diversity among characters, and some who aren't neurotypical.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters are often in danger but it's comical, not scary. Characters tend to explode.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.