Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Universe of Fair by Leslie Bulion


Miller Sanford's parents think he's too young to explore the annual town fair alone with his best friend. Hopeful that this year they will reconsider, Miller works extra hard to be nice to his little sister Penny and her friends.
When his mother can't attend the Fair and his father has to cover her volunteer booth hours as well as his own, Miller ends up with more responsibility than he can handle. Instead of enjoying a freewheeling day on his own, he is drawn into a series of mishaps involving a string of tagalong first graders, his dad's prize-worthy lemon meringue pie, flying death heads, a giant jack-o'-lantern, and his ill-fated science fair project.
Frank Dormer's kid-friendly illustrations enliven the pages of Leslie Bulion's lighthearted take on growing-up and learning to be responsible.


Ah, to be young and want to be able to do things for yourself.

In The Universe of Fair, Miller is trying to show his parents that he's already mature and capable of doing things on his own, particularly spending some time with his friend exploring the fair. To do that, however, he must take care of his annoying little sister and a few other neighborhood kids.

I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Miller, not just because he wants to do things by himself, but also the other stuff, like doing schoolwork and projects that don't really fit with what the teachers want. The mystery subplot was pretty interesting too. Some might say it was anti-climactic, but kids will still like it.

As for the kids, I liked Miller's best friend Lewis the best. He seemed the most mature of them all. Miller is a very typical 11-year-old, which is good. Kids, particularly young boys, will be able to relate to the book better. Miller's younger sister, however, annoyed me a lot. If my kid was like that, I would be a lot stricter with her than Miller's parents were.

Thanks to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishers for the e-copy.


  1. Miller is very relateable.
  2. There are plenty of things happening in the book.
  3. It's realistic.


  1. Some of the characters can be annoying.

I might not be able to eat a whole colossal sugar donut and still have room for the rest of the Fair food on my plan - the fries, the corn on the cob, the chili, and the chocolate banana delight without nuts, and then dinner.

  1. You have a middle-grade child.
  2. Your kids are starting to annoy you.
  3. You want your kids to read more.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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