Review: Mrs. Patty is Batty by Dan Gutman

Teachers are always telling us to stay “on task.” That means we have to talk about boring stuff instead of interesting stuff, like candy bars.






What happens: It’s Halloween at Ella Mentry School! That means the weirdness is about to get even weirder than normal. Mrs. Patty, the school’s Halloween enthusiast, is giving away candy at her house. The weird part? You have to face somet spooky tricks to get your treat.

The good: This is my first Weird School title. Yes, I know of the series. Of course I do. But I’ve never actually ready one until now. I definitely see the appeal from the child’s perspective, especially male* children. The book is funny in the crude childhood sort of way. It’s not something that I think adults will be particularly attuned to but it is something that will go over well with the kids. I think this would be a nice series for reluctant or emerging readers.

The not so good: Let’s just get this out of the way: I did not like this book. I think it has a lot of flaws and that it’s pedaling the same old bullshit to kids without providing anything original or particularly interesting. I found the not so subtle misogyny here really off-putting. Will kids notice that this book is sexist? No, and that’s the problem. Since this is the first book I’ve read from this series, I don’t know if the boys are always the main characters are not. Maybe in other installments the girls get to talk nonstop shit about the boys. But that’s not the case here.

Andrea is presented as an annoying know it all deserving of outright bullying. Emily is portrayed as the typical hysterical mess. The bitch and the crazy lady–the whole cast is here, folks. The boys hate the girls without question. There is even a scene in which the male main character disrobes Emily in public. This happens accidentally but it does happen. Jesus Christ.

If you want to give a book to kids that teaches them it’s cool to be misogynistic little bullies, then this is the title for you. If not, steer clear.

Rating: 1/5 stars. Yucky.

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