Oggie Cooder
By Sarah Weeks
Scholastic Press
ISBN 9780545078382
Grades 3-5
In Stores February 1st, 2008

I have not always been a huge fan of the word “silly”. I guess it makes me feel kind of silly to say it. Until I started working in elementary schools a few years back, I tried not to use the term. But after working with kids for a while, I now understand silly. I use the word in conversation. I know that sometimes, it’s the best way to describe something that is goofy or just plain ridiculous. I also know that silly is not necessarily a bad thing. Lots of kids respond to it. Ever check to see how many circulations the latest Junie B. Jones is getting? Tons. See what I mean? “Oggie Cooder” successfully brings the silly, but it is not fluff. An imaginative story about friendships and the urge to be popular. Oh, and also charving American cheese slices into the shape of states.

Oggie Cooder is an unusual fourth grader. Actually, Oggie is unusual period. Odd clothes, peculiar lingo, unique hobby. All this and the peer disapproval that goes along with it. Donnica Perfecto leads the troops in this category, using every opportunity to show her dislike of our hero. To Oggie’s credit, he couldn’t care less. When he does get stressed, it’s an easy fix: charving. A combination of chewing and carving, Oggie’s specialty is crafting American cheese slices into the shapes of the 50 states. His skill with a Kraft single starts drawing some attention from Donnica when the hit tv show “Hidden Talents” comes to town. Miss Perfecto’s sudden interest in Oggie and charving turn out to be her most deceptive tricks yet.

“Oggie Cooder” is a quirky and entertaining story with humor and a dash of real-world interactions. Silly? Yes. But kids will tell you: silly is good.

Also Reviewed By: The Longstockings

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