Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hubert Invents the Wheel by Claire and Monte Montgomery

For some reason, this book was shelved in the Young Adult section of my local library. Huh?

Hubert is an Ancient Sumerian teenager who likes to invent things, just like his mother, who disappeared after an unfortunate umbrella incident. His father, Gorp, is less than thrilled with Hubert's inventive nature. When Hubert invents the wheel, all is well until the Assyrians steal the idea and suddenly life as the Sumerians know it is threatened.

This was a very cute book. And besides just a good story, it has educational value, too. Besides learning about an ancient culture (however comedically portrayed), you (or at least kids) will learn new vocabulary words, a bit about technology, and even some math concepts. This would be a great cross-curriculum book for teachers to use, probably 4th or 5th grade level (although some of the math concepts may be more advanced - maybe that's why it was considered YA?).

That said, when I wasn't reading it, it didn't call my name, and I had a hard time picking it up again. When I would pick it up, I would enjoy it, but I was often reluctant to pick it back up. Not sure what that was about.

I can best describe the style of this book as being like an animated Disney movie - I kept picturing The Emperor's New Groove as I was reading. Interestingly, I noted that the illustrator, Jeff Shelly, used to work for Disney. It was silly in the same ways, and the cartoon style of the drawings just magnified the similarities. This isn't a bad thing, just an observation.


Amanda said...

For some reason, this book was shelved in the Young Adult section of my local library. Huh?

You might want to ask the library why. It could be a mistake.

Debi said...

Hmmm...this sounds like it might be something my reluctant reader might like. Though maybe a bit too old for him. I'll definitely have to check it out. Thanks, Somer!

Somer said...

Amanda - I suspect the labeling was applied at the vendor-level. I seem to remember that being the case at my previous job. Considering that this was a Bluebonnet nominee, someone must have noticed the strange classification.

Debi - I offered Hubert... to my 9-year-old but he didn't seem too interested. He's a very hard reader to please!

Anonymous said...

We are the authors of "Hubert Invents the Wheel," and we think you wrote a terrific review of our book!

We're glad you enjoyed it, and hope our next book "calls your name" even louder!

Claire & Monte Montgomery