Simon Cup’s Box by A.B. Syed

Funny and Brilliant!

(A note from Erin: I stole this one out of our in-box and never gave it back. Hey, you snooze, you lose. Middle grade books go by middle grade rules. Word.)

This book wasn’t next up in my review list. I know. It wasn’t. So, here’s what happened…

I got a review copy by email. Yay! Love those! Of course, I opened it–you know, just to make sure it would open. Then I read a paragraph or two because I’m a compulsive reader, and after all, it was right there in front of me. I can’t be blamed for that. It was clearly not my fault.

An hour later, I finished it. I couldn’t put it down, which was also not my fault. I blame A.B. Syed. And, obviously, I blame Simon Cup. (It’s okay. He’s used to it.) The book made me grin like a little kid. In several places it made me laugh out loud. People looked at me oddly, yes, but I laughed out loud anyway. It’s that kind of book.

The characters are wonderfully real. The writing is brilliant. If I were a still a child of bedtime story age (and why did that stop anyway, I’m now wondering), my parents would be begging me by next week, “Please, PLEASE, isn’t there SOME other book you’d like us to read?”

To which I would reply, in my best Mid Numph voice, “No.” And, of course, they would sigh, and look at me with loving, long-suffering patience, and start again from the beginning.

Parents, you have been warned. But buy it anyway. It’s the kind of book your kids will talk about at dinner thirty years from now. “Remember that book? Simon Cup’s Box? And how I made you read it over and over?”

“Yes,” you will say. “Of course I do.” And after thirty intervening years, the smile will no longer be long-suffering. It will be fondly nostalgic. You will look at your grown-up child, and for one precious moment they will be eight years old again.

Which is the very best magic of all.

–Erin’s Pick



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