Read + Review: I Funny TV: A Middle School Story by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

ifunnytvThe main character is Jamie Grimm, a kid comedian in a wheelchair. Having won a contest, Jamie is asked to sign a contract to appear in his own television show and to receive one million dollars. Only things won’t be that easy for Jamie. He has to deal with a difficult director who considers replacing him. His friends feel neglected as he navigates being a television celebrity. To make matters worse, there is a new bully bothering Jamie. Will Jamie make a success of his new television show? Will fame change him?

The book’s focal point is definitely its humor. I laughed out loud many times as I read the book. I found the characters relatable and well-developed. Ironically, the backbone of this book, its humor, is also sometimes its biggest weakness. In certain dramatic sections of the book, the author includes a joke that felt out of place and ruined the moment. Without spoiling anything, I hope they don’t do a sequel to this book. The ending felt conclusive and another book would be unnecessary.

One memorable thing about the book is the behind the scenes glimpse at how making a television show works. The reader gets to see how a director can be critical to the success or failure of a program. Jamie had a bad director who wouldn’t allow the actors to improvise and who would edit details of Jamie’s life to make it funnier, but much less authentic. When a good director comes on board, she gives Jamie the flexibility to improve the show and allows Jamie to be more true to his life experience.

si-s-three-star-md

Reviewed by Aidan, Grade 6, Gayton Library

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