________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 5 . . . .October 27, 2006


Room 207.

Marnelle Tokio. Illustrated by Linda Hendry.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2006.
165 pp., pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 0-88776-695-1.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Shelly Tyler.

* /4



Almost nothing had survived. Body parts were strewn everywhere-arms of chairs, legs of tables, feet from desks. Sheldon the Skeleton's skull had blown off, landing in his hand. Books were stuck to the ceiling. Posters papered the floor. There was a mound of brown stuff in the corner where Miss Chimney's desk used to be. The only thing left standing was the steel door and the door jamb. It was crisscrossed with the yellow caution tape that said DO NOT CROSS. DANGER ZONE.


When the most fun classroom in the school has "a most grievous accident" over the summer holidays, Miss Chimney and her students are forced to relocate to the original one-room schoolhouse on the grounds of the elementary school. It's not bad enough that the new room is the worst place to be, but it is haunted! The school bully is transferred to the classroom, along with a whole cast of wild and unique characters including a potbellied pig, a guinea pig named Butterbum and an invisible cat named Amadeus. The story turns even wilder when the classroom teacher disappears! The students’ reactions are, of course, of shock and horror when Miss Chimney and Pourquoi, the potbellied pig, are eaten by slime. Now the students must find a way to save their teacher and still win the "Best Classroom" contest! First prize for the contest will reward the best classroom with seven days of tasting and creating twenty-three new flavors of ice cream at the Dream Cream Factory! The students do everything they can to make sure they are the winners, which includes their developing some hilarious and inventive plans to rescue Miss Chimney!

“Everyone here, including Butterbum, is intelligent," Miss Chimney said firmly as she bent down and picked up Butterbum. "She is a guinea pig. This summer I had a little picnic by myself in the backyard. I went into the house to get some mustard and when I came out I found her sitting in the butter."

     I found this book to be very confusing from the very first chapter. There are far too many characters which makes the story extremely hard to follow. The author uses the words "stupid" and "dumb" on several occasions. Other wording used as dialogue is not appropriate for the age group the book is geared towards. Examples include:

The weatherman had said it was hotter than an oven in "H E double hockey sticks."

Miles stood with his hands behind him, covering his backside, as if he had to go to the boy's room really badly.-(this was in reference to being told the school nurse would be taking his temperature the "old fashioned" way.)

     There are many more inappropriate references in this book I could have used for examples. I do not recommend this book for any age group and do not feel it is worth having in a school library.

Not recommended

Shelly Tyler is a library technician at Chapman School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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