The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman

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Synopsis

Dunderheads, unite! A tyrannical teacher gets her just due in a delightfully
subversive, outrageously funny tale by Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman.

Miss Breakbone hates kids. Especially the time-squandering, mindwandering, doodling, dozing dunderheads in her class. But when she confiscates Junkyard’s crucial fi nd, she fi nally goes too far. Enter Wheels (and his souped-up bike with forty-eight extra gears), Pencil (who can draw anything from memory), Spider (look up and you’ll fi nd him), and their fellow misfi ts in a spectacular display of teamwork aimed at teaching Miss Breakbone a lesson she won’t soon forget. From the incomparable Paul Fleischman comes a winning cast of underdogs — and one of the most terrifying teachers you’ll ever meet — brought to vivid life in David Roberts’s quirky, hilarious illustrations.
 

About Paul Fleischman

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Paul Fleischman won the Newbery Medal for JOYFUL NOISE: POEMS FOR TWO VOICES and a Newbery Honor for GRAVEN IMAGES. Among his award-winning picture books are SIDEWALK CIRCUS, THE ANIMAL HEDGE, and WESTLANDIA. He lives in Aromas, California. David Roberts is the author-illustrator of the Bertie books and the illustrator of many books for children, including THE DUMPSTER DIVER by Janet S. Wong. He lives in London.
 
Published June 9, 2009 by Candlewick. 56 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Humor & Entertainment.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Dunderheads

Kirkus Reviews

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The Dunderheads are back in another amusing caper that's sure to please fans of their earlier exploits (The Dunderheads ...

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Kirkus Reviews

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Some sly references might go over the heads of the intended audience (don’t miss Liza as Sally Bowles in the line-up of aspiring extras), but readers of all ages will enjoy poring over the pages to find the hidden humor.

Feb 05 2012 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

Kirkus Reviews

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Fleischman’s characters verge on caricature—the problem-solving narrator is a clever boy nicknamed Einstein, his friend Junkyard collects cast-off items from everywhere and the ominously named Miss Breakbone delights in tormenting her students—and Roberts’s watercolor-and–pen-and-ink illustration...

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Publishers Weekly

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But if they tested for paper-clip chains...” Roberts’s (The Dumpster Diver ) drawings, with their delicate lines and sly cultural references (Miss Breakbone looks like a cold war–era prison guard), convey just the right note of dastardly charm.

May 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

Publishers Weekly

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In this Hollywood-inflected outing, the gang of uniquely talented children gets cast as extras in a movie that’s filming in town (so does their nemesis, the brutish Miss Breakbone, who makes a horrifying cameo in a dress resembling Marilyn Monroe’s in The Seven Year Itch).

Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

The Wall Street Journal

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So when, one day, Miss Breakbone insults the class by calling them “fiddling, twiddling, time-squandering, mind-wandering, doodling, dozing, don’t-knowing dunderheads” and then has the temerity to impound the green-eyed ceramic cat that a boy named Junkyard found in a trashcan and planned to give...

Jun 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

City Book Review

The Dunderheads try out, while Spider climbs a large object to view the long line.

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

Common Sense Media

However, the message is complicated (the teacher is evil, and the students work together to end her tyranny), and the cartoons are a bit scary (the classroom has an electric chair;

Jun 09 2009 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

BookIdeas.com

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The Bookbag

The school setting means that younger readers won't fully get it, but if they're willing to give it a go, and are wanting more detailed picture books than usual, there's nothing really stopping you from reading it to them.

Oct 05 2012 | Read Full Review of The Dunderheads

Reader Rating for The Dunderheads
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