Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
For me, Fuzzy Mud was a strange little book. It seems like a fantastic choice for teachers who are studying the environment, pollution, or the way any idea that is meant to help the world - can actually have a drastically negative impact. At the same time, the book also deals with relational themes like standing by your friends, doing the right thing even when it’s scary, and being nice to someone even if you don’t like them.

While reading, I found myself wondering - and worrying - about how fast toxic disease can spread. And how scary it could be if some uncontrollable randomly dangerous science thing happened at a school and how we parents could quickly and safely get to our children. Then I’m thinking, is this truly intended to be a children’s book? It’s not very entertaining, from a fun, magical, fantasy point of view. It’s real, it’s deep, it’s meaningful, it’s serious, it’s morally challenging, and it’s thought provoking.

Which is why I find it ideal for teachers and classrooms or for parents who want to connect with their kids over some tough issues. Fuzzy Mud would certainly lead to some serious conversations. Just don’t look to it as a nice little enjoyable birthday gift book. Holes, Mr. Sachar’s first immensely popular book, is also fairly serious and deep yet it has many fun, entertaining elements and is likable. Fuzzy Mud is not like this - it’s almost more of a non-fiction book written in story form.

From a sheer enjoyment perspective, I honestly can’t recommend this one. However, as I’ve mentioned, I think it’d be good for 5th or 6th grade classrooms or even middle schoolers, since older readers would be able to make more sense of the intense themes. And there would definitely be fruitful classroom discussions about the relations between humans and also the connections between humans and the environment.

(Note: I replied to an email from the publisher and received a free Advance Reader’s Copy of Fuzzy Mud. This did not affect my review, which has been open and honest.)