Review Blog

Nov 07 2012

Eric Vale: Epic Fail by Michael Gerard Bauer

cover image

Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 978 1 86201 992 1.
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Schools. Bullying. Nicknames and their effects is the theme of this very funny story from Bauer, a genius at getting down the nitty gritty of school experiences. He presents the day to day grind of just coping with all that goes on, the helter skelter of life passing by, and coping with a nickname which is totally unwanted. In chapter one, Eric explains just how his name came about, how he often spends time in the classroom thinking of things entirely at odds with what is actually happening, bringing the wrath of his teacher onto his head. When the class is discussing the environment, the teacher tells them of the epic fail that is the introduction of cane toads, and Martin, Eric's tormentor turns to his friends to make sure they twigged to the connection between Eric Vale and the teacher's terminology, Epic Fail. So a nickname is born, one he would love to be rid of.
Another time Eric and his friends are involved in the school assembly, presenting a play complete with clip on microphones. Of course, Eric and his friend sit themselves back in the audience, and a mix up occurs with the off and on switch, broadcasting Eric's comments about the boring speaker to the whole school. Epic fail, once again.
Bauer's descriptions of Eric and his class are all inviting, with sequences and settings that are familiar to everyone involved in schools. Laugh out loud, the situations in the school are enormously funny, and the range of children within the class engrossing. The attempts by Eric and his friend Chewy to rid him of his hated nickname will intrigue readers from start to finish, and augmented by some additional funny drawings around the margins of the pages, readers will be delighted to see that this is the first of a series.
Fran Knight

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates