by Stephen Pastis
it’s a book I wanted to leave until I thought about it
I am looking forward to finding out what reception is receives in my classroom – thinking it should be in grades 4, 5 and 6
I chose to read this book because it seemed like one my students would like – highly illustrated text, a comic/graphic novel feel. Timmy Failure (used to be spelled Fayleure) runs a detective agency in and around his boring obligation – school. Total, his sort-of-pet-found-wandering-around-searching-for-an-iceberg polar bear is his sidekick. Timmy’s cases don’t go well to begin with. Total doesn’t make them any better.
Timmy’s friend, Rollo Tookus would definitely make a great sidekick (if not lead detective). Timmy dismisses his suggestions as foolish though. After all who would ever want to take the advice of somebody who thinks, studies and takes his GPA seriously. Timmy is adored by Molly Moskins, though as with most things, Timmy hasn’t a clue. Then, of course, there is the girl whose face is obscured from the reader. She is Timmy’s arch rival and detective competition. She is into school as much as Rollo and rich enough to get what she wants – and because of this she solves cases faster than Timmy – at least that is what he believes.
Timmy means well for certain, but his intentions and his actions don’t match very often (that is to say, “never.)” Are you starting to get the picture about Failure Detective Agency? At first I thought Timmy Failure was too silly, but the more I read the more I realized he has a lot offer his readers. What happens when things aren’t going so well for your mom? What happens when you do things you know you shouldn’t and one thing leads to another and to another and to another and… Timmy Failure will make you nod in recognition – we’ve all been in that place when things aren’t really working out no matter what we try. Maybe you’ll laugh or maybe you’ll think about what it’s like to have bad luck while you’re trying to achieve greatness. Should you give up? I don’t think so. Most things aren’t what they seem – any detective can tell you that. But you know… mistakes are made.