Friday, January 31, 2014


A book review by Mr. B of the Grandview Branch: 

What happens when childhood friends start middle school? Sometimes, they grow together, and the friendship remains strong. Sometimes new friends blend in with old friends. And sometimes, childhood friendships end with a butt kicking. That’s why it’s 33 Minutes…Until Morgan Sturtz kicks my butt

That’s right, small but brainy seventh grader Sam Lewis is about to get beat up by his former best friend, star-athlete Morgan Sturtz. Over the summer, Sam had noticed Morgan spending more time with “new” kid Chris. And he had noticed how Chris and Morgan often played tricks on him. But Sam still thought he and Morgan were best friends. They had been best friends since second grade. Well, ok, so Sam played one prank on Chris and Morgan, which seemed to make Morgan mad. And, yes, Morgan had seemed to be avoiding Sam lately. But, Sam had no idea it had come to this. 

Author Todd Hasak-Lowy has Sam tell the story in short and often very funny chapters. The chapters track all the events of the school day that Morgan has told Sam he would kick his butt. The chapters start at lunch (11:41a.m.), 33 minutes before the promised recess butt-kicking, and end with the sudden and unexpected close of school at 1:15:59p.m. In that time, there is a cafeteria food fight (told in absolutely gross detail) during which Sam is knocked unconscious by a metal salad bowl; there are several trips to the nurse’s office and the principal’s office; a three, no, four, no now it’s five-car pile-up in the teachers’ parking lot; a fire drill, no, wait, the science lab IS on fire; and, yes, Morgan Sturtz kicks Sam Lewis’ butt (and gets a few bruises of his own). 

This book is great fun and delivers some valuable growing-up lessons along the way. It should make an excellent read-aloud, if the reader can stop laughing long enough to read the words.

RL  5-7  AGE 11-13

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