Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar<br>

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN: 9781408864746
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended for a younger audience (aged 9+) for its dramatic impact in a well-crafted exciting story. Themes: Bullying; Friendship; Environmental issues. A book about bullying and an environmental disaster! An unlikely combination in a book, and yet it works brilliantly. The central character in this story is in year 5 in an Academy school in America; she is quiet and a 'goody-goody two shoes'. The older boy she walks to school with has become a target of the newly arrived bully to the school. A simple decision to walk home via a different route to escape the bully's threats leads them into 'Fuzzy Mud' and its life-altering and potentially world-altering consequences. What started as a solution to future energy needs, has mutated into a deadly organism capable of world-wide destruction. The young pair's timidity is also challenged, and they discover strength and friendship they didn't think was possible.
Sachar, author of Holes, cleverly intertwines this child-centred tale with its school-focussed issues with the record of Interview in a Senate Inquiry following the incident and the record of the mathematical explosion of a binary fission organism.
Carolyn Hull