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The Brain Full of Holes by Martin Chatterton

The Brain Full of Holes

by Martin Chatterton

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I first saw The Brain at summer 2009 ALA. We were on our way out, and I scooped it up and added it to my pile. Then, somehow, it moved to the bottom of the pile. I kept meaning to read it and I didn't and...pretty soon, I found myself on the way to ALA Midwinter. With nothing in my bag but The Brain Finds a Leg and Lost Conspiracy (which I never did read completely). I started reading The Brain. I started giggling. By the time I had arrived in Boston, I had finished the book, laughed myself silly, and was getting very wary looks from the other passengers!

Martin Chatterton is Carl Hiassen on a double dose of weird crossed with Roald Dahl. That pretty much covers these books. In the first story, we start out with a kind of weird introduction, which I had a little trouble getting through - a pod of whales goes crazy and kills a boat of whale watchers. However, the real story starts afterwards, with the whale watcher boat captain's family. His average son Sheldon is getting bullied in school and slogging through life in a haze of misery, his dumb surfer son Sean, who is their mother's favorite, is being nasty to everyone, and their mother is helpless and miserable.

Then Sheldon meets The Brain. He's the combination of every famous detective who ever lived and exerts a strange influence over Sheldon's impossibly nasty teacher. The Brain informs Sheldon that he is suitable for a sidekick, something The Brain finds himself in need of. Together, they investigate the strange occurences from the suddenly aggressive whales to missing bodies, not-so-missing body parts, canine reptiles, and light-fingered koalas. The ending is a little abrupt, but matches the zany flavor of the story!

In the next tale of Sheldon and The Brain, the two are now brothers, living in Switzerland. By the way, the first story takes place in Australia and I thought it was Florida for quite a while, until the koalas showed up really. It didn't occur to me that people don't surf in Florida. At least, I don't think they do.
Anyhow. More strange things are afoot, including missing parents, a gorgeous girl, and rabid cuckoo clocks. I didn't like this one quite as much as the first, although it was quite funny, but I'm just not much of a sequels person. It did move more smoothly and didn't have the problems with beginning and ending that the first one did.

Fans of Carl Hiassen, the weird and gruesome (yes, these books are a bit gruesome in spots - definitely middle grade) and what I call "wacky science" will laugh themselves silly over these zany stories. They haven't circulated quite as well as I'd hoped at my library, but I haven't had a chance to booktalk them yet. Just wait....

Brain Finds a Leg
ISBN: 978-1561455034; Published October 2009 by Peachtree; ARC provided by publisher at ALA; Purchased for the library

Brain Full of Holes
ISBN: 978-1561455270; Published March 2010 by Peachtree; ARC provided by publisher at ALA
  JeanLittleLibrary | Jan 1, 2012 |
Quirky English humor fills this scientific mystery. Sheldon and his cousin 'The Brain' who carries a Sherlock Holmes pipe, are trying to find the whereabouts of Helga's father who has disappeared while driving his big rig in Switzerland. It just so happens that it went missing in a tunnel that is next to the largest particle accelerator in the world. Zaniness ensues as clones and aliens and 'duzzent' matter come into play. Fun read for middle schoolers. ( )
  oapostrophe | Nov 22, 2010 |
Zaniness abounds as Sheldon and The Brain jump back into the sleuthing business with both feet. If you liked the first in this series (which I did) then you certainly won’t be disappointed with the follow up. There is definitely no sophomore slump here!

In revisiting the boys Chatterton has made a few changes to both their surroundings and their behavior. The Brain, ever the mastermind, shows a few chinks in his armor in this adventure. He’s still as smart as ever but at times seems to step back to allow Sheldon to take the wheel. Sheldon, on the other hand, is still as endearingly doofish as he was the first go round. Only this time it’s twice as sweet because he’s got the new girl to pine for.

Speaking of which, the addition of Helga was fabulous. A sassy and bold young girl, she kept pace with the boys (even out running them at times) where other ladies might have cowered back and let them do all the heavy lifting. She was, without question, a fabulous addition to the team.

The plot of The Brain Full of Holes is just as quirky and fun as it’s predecessor. The Brain and Sheldon are now living in Switzerland with Sheldon’s mum and her new husband Captain Schnurrbart. The Captain is a big time security muckety muck whom the boys rely on to assist them in resolving their latest case. This case, involving the mysterious disappearance of Helga’s father, includes a marked rise in the appearance of strangely familiar (yet disconcertingly different) animals. More importantly the team was working towards saving the world from it’s ultimate demise at the hands of a copious amount of Silly.

Mix all of this together and you have yourself one hell of an enjoyable mystery. A mystery that is neither predictable nor too twisty that middle graders will have difficulty following.

Filled with wacky situations The Brain Full of Holes will certainly entertain young reluctant readers. While I personally see it being more of a boy book I do think the addition of Helga makes it increasingly appealing to young girls as well. It’s definitely a good read for anyone who enjoys off-beat, entertaining and humorous stories. ( )
  galleysmith | Sep 4, 2010 |
Imaginative and quirky ( )
  booklady9 | Jul 15, 2010 |
What can I say? The Brain strikes again in this wacky but wonderful tale that will have you reaching books end in record time...you won't want to put it down. Filled with the wild imagination of author Martin Chatterton, we have a tale of whodunit with Duzzant Matter and a whole sleugh of outrageous animal creations. From an cow that wants to give her caretaker a bit of his own medicine to panthers guarding the power of LURV, it's a surprise a minute with smilees to spares. If you haven't checked out this author's first tale (THE BRAIN FINDS A LEG), I highly recommend it followed by a good dose of "holes". Trust me...you don't want to miss it. Happy reading! ( )
  GRgenius | Jun 20, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156145527X, Hardcover)

Thinking about stuff was all well and good, but Sheldon would have liked a bit less thinking and a lot more action. Couldnt Theo tell that things were getting weirder by the minute? Switzerland is not famous for being a silly country. But why are so many silly things happening? Holes are disappearing from cheese. Doppelgngers, cuckoo clocks and angry geese are running amok in the Alps. Not to mention flying cows! All Sheldon McGlone wants is some peace and quiet. Hes left Australia, hes trying to get used to his new life, and hes just fallen in love. But when your step-brother is Theo Brain, the worlds youngest super sleuth, getting any peace and quiet is about as unlikely as Urs Bupka winning the Eurovisionara Song Contest

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:28 -0400)

Having moved to Switzerland, thirteen-year-old Sheldon and his new stepbrother Theo ("The Brain") Brain investigate a mystery involving particle physics, Swiss cheese, a missing truck driver, and a carnivorous cuckoo clock.

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