In a perfect world, one where I had more free time and a brain for science, I would build a time machine. And with this fantastic device, I would hurtle through the temporal sea with a copy of The Mighty Skullboy Army tucked under one arm and a determined furrow on my brow.
Destination: 1997. Where I’d hand the book over to 10-year-old me. He’d read it, and I can pretty much guarantee he wouldn’t stop laughing for like, at least a week.
(Heck, it took me most of a day to stop smiling because of it, and I’m a perpetually cranky twenty-nothing.)
Chabot’s made a funny book, is the point I’m trying to make. It’s goofy and energetic; stuff explodes, mishaps mishappen, a foot tall radish monster ravishes his creators. It hits upon the pillars of scholastic humor for kids: namely, that school is dumb, bullies are jerks, and there’s always some weird kid who’ll eat stuff on a dare.
Most importantly, while the characters are occasionally dumb as posts, the actual writing never is. Usually, a statement along those lines means the jokes are delivered with a wink for the adults in the audience. Here, Chabot achieves smart writing simply by…well, not dumbing down the jokes for kids.