Title: Fish Finelli; Book One: Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles
Author: E.S. Farber
Genre: Children’s Chapter Book
About the Book (taken from Goodreads): When bully Bryce Billings bets Fish Finelli that he can't find Captain Kidd's legendary long-lost treasure, Fish and his friends embark on a quest to find real-life pirate treasure. Between sneaking into the library to track down Captain Kidd's map, stowing away on a boat, and trespassing on an island, Fish and his friends have their work cut out for them. But will Fish actually be able to find Captain Kidd's booty and win the bet? Appropriate for both boys and girls, this first book in the Fish Finelli series will inspire readers to use their imaginations, learn about the world around them, and appreciate the bonds of friendship.
Great book for kids who like facts, not fantasy and enjoy reading low anxiety adventure stories. With so many dark and creepy middle grade books out there, Fish Finnelli is a refreshing summer-fun mystery full of humor and light thrills.
Packed with fun facts, fourth grade humor, and pirate treasure (what more could you want?) this is a great “read-to” for six and seven year olds, while kids ages eight and up will be reading it to themselves. Due to the simplicity of the plot however, I would say fourth grade is the limit as this book will come across as highly implausible to older kids.
The writing is clean and simple and Farber mostly uses dialogue to keep the story rolling. Fish, Roger, and T.J. sound like real boys, but there is no gross humor just “goose poop,” silly puns, secret codes, and acronyms. Scientific facts break up the narrative throughout and though mostly helpful and amusing, at times they become wearisome and gum up the pace of the story.
Overall: Love the factoids in the margins, the illustrations, and the laugh out loud boy humor. The plot is pretty simple and the characters one-dimensional, so I would draw the line at fourth grade; younger kids will be laughing while older ones will be rolling their eyes.