Audience Age: 8-11
The story in no more than five sentences: Timmy Failure is the founder and president of Failure Inc., a detective agency that he runs out of his mom’s closet. Failure Inc. is a rather unique business in that Timmy’s detective partner is a polar bear named Total, and his company vehicle is his mom’s segway (which she has expressly forbidden him to use!). Timmy’s greatest problem in life is evading and defeating his arch nemesis Corrina Corrina who runs a rival cross town detective agency. But his troubles only multiply when his mom, in response to his poor school performance and her segway being stolen, forces Timmy to shut down his detective agency and donates Total to the local zoo. Can Timmy solve the mystery of the stolen segway so that he can save his best polar bear friend and his business?
The best part of this book in one sentence: The best part of this book is the spot on, dead pan humor so effectively employed by the author.
The worst part of this book in one sentence: Some parents may be concerned by the use of the word “failure.”
One interesting note about the author: Stephan Pastis is creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine which appears in over 600 newspapers.