Title: Cool Beans: The Further Adventures of Beanboy
Author: Lisa Harkrader
Major Themes: Comic Books, School, Sports
Synopsis: Young comic book artist Tucker MacBean finds himself organizing a dodgeball team and learning how to play to win something that his brother badly wants.
Some of the stories that we get through the Sonlight Curriculum introduce my children to concepts they know nothing about. Cool Beans was one of those. I don’t think most of my children had any idea what superheroes were before we read this book, so part of the story went over their heads. They loved the book, though, and always wanted more chapters than I wanted to read to them!
Tucker MacBean won a contest last year by inventing a new superhero for comic books, Beanboy. His little brother Beech looked up to Tucker as a superhero. Tucker couldn’t stop the bully, Wesley, from taking the helmet that Beech had his heart set on in the sporting goods store, though. And, he couldn’t keep the girls’ basketball team from stealing Art Club’s bulletin board. Now, Tucker had a mission: to recruit more members for Art Club, and to get that bulletin board back.
Art Club planned an assembly to get attention for themselves—and the basketball teams hijacked it. Then, the announcement was made that the helmet Beech wanted would be the prize for the winner of the annual dodgeball game at the school carnival. Tucker had never played dodgeball, didn’t know how, and didn’t have a team, but he knew one thing: He was going to win that helmet for his beloved little brother. How could he do it?
Cool Beans started out a bit confusing for my children who have never experienced a school setting and never read comics, but soon they loved it. Lisa Harkrader managed to draw them in and make them very interested in Tucker’s struggles. I really liked Tucker’s love for his little brother who wasn’t quite normal, and the way a disparate group of children learned to work together to meet a common goal. This turned out to be a delightful story. I think my favorite part was the teamwork!
WARNING: Chapter 1: sleep in the dang thing. Chapter 3: was just a dang ball. Chapter 5: What-the-Heck-is-Wrong-With-You. Chapter 7: gosh, I don’t want to…. Chapter 11: What the heck were squirrel-cage fans? Chapter 13: get the dang light to come back on. Chapter 16: sure as heck not an athletic event; get the heck out of there. Chapter 20: sure as heck not Mr. Petrucelli. Chapter 29: Or heck, everything back to Christmas. Chapter 33: Heck, I was afraid. Chapter 35: a heck of a lot more bloodthirsty.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Links to buy this book:
Amazon: Paperback | Library Binding
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
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