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My kids enjoyed reading this insightful book. The prose conveys the various tones and perspectives of different children who are all going on a field trip. The point of view shifts to a variety of first-person perspectives as each of the several main characters examine the social problems they each face, as some of the kids sneak off on their own and various dilemmas ensue. The different children take various approaches, and our internal journey through their minds reveals why they choose to act they way they do. Eventually, these very different kids have to pull together, and learn to see things from one another’s points of view. Overall, its’ a fun and exciting book which illuminates different perspectives and behaviors, noticing the differences between us all, while valuing — rather than victimizing — each person’s unique strengths. Although they each may be mighty odd, together, they are oddly mighty. Well done.

The engaging characters from the previous volume of Last Kids on Earth return — along with several monstrous new characters — to this exciting sequel. This sequel features (a little less?) humor, and more action, as they kids encounter a group of monsters from another dimension. Their appearance leads to the elimination of (most of) the zombies which comprise what’s left of humanity. The key dramatic question here is if the kids can survive the threat of Earth’s destruction — and a betrayal from a trusted friend — to save what’s left (and enjoy some pizza, too). My son was sad about the betrayal, and had a few questions for me as a result. I reinforced the moral of this, and the other book in the series, that there is no need for fears, since we can find solutions to any problem, especially with some help from good friends (even when the problem is the end of the world). This may be better than the first volume, and is a must for anyone who enjoyed the first book in the series.

I enjoyed scouting as a child, and enjoyed the little adventures we had camping together. Scouting, for girls or boys, may not be as popular as it once was, but kids can enjoy the fun, adventures — and learning — that these mouse (girl) scouts have together in this second book in their enjoyable series. The occasional illustrations help bring the engaging, easy-to-read story to life. My kids and I particularly enjoy the little excerpts from the Mouse Scout Handbook, like the recipe for Campfire Grilled Cheese, or how to make your own compass (I remember that one from my own manual IRL). There are important, real-life lessons like about what to do when you’re lost, and to never go into the wilderness alone. The anecdotes — “the ghost owl” and the overall story are fun and engaging, too.