Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Fuzzy Mud book cover: 3/4 of the cover shows mud with roots and fuzz. Top portion shows grass and trees as well as the silhouettes of people in what appears to be a forest“Be careful not to step in that,” Tamaya warned as Chad … made his way around the strange mud.  “What do you think all that weird fuzzy stuff is?” she asked.

Author Louis Sachar has been popular since Sideways Stories was released in the late 1970s.  This new novel is more like his big hit, Holes --- a dark story of unlikely friendship and strong middle-school characters dealing with a disturbing situation.

Sweet Tamaya, school bully Chad, and bullied classmate Marshall together uncover an environmental horror near their school.  The story is quite dystopian, involving an infectious rash spreading through town and a horrific injury to one of the main characters.  I recommend this exciting novel for ages 11-14, especially readers who enjoyed Holes.

Mary Jo, Kids World

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