Willis Wilbur Wows the World (Willis Wilbur, 1)
Wilbur Willis, age nine, is facing a grim summer. He and his BFF Shelley are scheduled to go to band camp, but Shelley’s parents decide to take her to Hawaii to visit family instead. Willis, worried his mother will send him to day camp, decides to start a business in order to win a local scholarship. After some thought, he decides to become a life coach and help neighborhood kids become their best selves. His mother agrees to him running the business for the summer if he wins. Since Willis knows virtually nothing about being a life coach, it’s a long shot, but Willis’s enthusiasm never wavers.
This book touches on problems kids will relate to, such as bullying and learning independence and friendships, but the voice of Willis is not very childlike, and his ideas seem wildly unusual for a nine-year-old boy. With a protagonist of this age, this book should be for seven to eight year old children, but neither the language nor the situations seem like things that would interest kids of that age. There are some funny moments and the writing is very good, but this could be better suited, with changes, for older middle-graders.
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