Chapter Books – Punished

Logan knows he’s not supposed to run in the library, but he just can’t help himself when his hyperactive friend Benedict starts up a game of tag. Unfortunately for Logan, he runs smack into a man who is less than pleased. The man tells Logan that he should be punished. Logan shrugs it off, and returns home, only to realize that he has been punished. Literally pun-ished. Everything he says is a horrible pun, annoying his parents and teachers and alienating his friends. Desperate, Logan returns to the library in hopes of being able to reverse his curse.

This book was a quick read, and will be perfect for third and fourth graders, particularly those who enjoy playing with language. Logan’s quests to rid himself of the curse involve playing with words, such as finding oxymorons or palindromes. Kids who are already familiar with these concepts will quickly see the examples in Logan’s life, and those who are meeting these terms for the first time, as Logan is, will be fascinated by this aspect of the language they had not seen before.

Author David Lubar is known for his quirky characters and strange plots – his Weenie series of weird short stories are a perennial favorite at the library – but here the events stay on a fairly normal, and even keel, if you look beyond the whole “cursed” part. Although it’s fairly clear from the beginning that Logan will succeed in his quest, the search for language elements is still a fun ride.

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