Misunderstood kids use their everyday super powers to outwit an evil teacher.
The Dunderheads occupies that narrowly inhabited space between picture books and chapter books. Like many of the popular titles for this age group it is about a group of clever kids outsmarting a mean teacher. Unlike many of the books in its category, it doesn’t speak down its readers, and the characters are strange and delightful. Illustrator David Roberts renders each of the ten child protagonists with great care. Mrs. Breakbone, a sadistic teacher who keeps an electric chair in the classroom, refers to this collective as the Dunderheads. When Breakbone snatches a birthday gift purchased for one of the mother of a Dunderhead member, they come together as a team to outwit her. Each of the kids in the book has a special skill and the group must use all the skills to defeat Breakbone. It’s a fun read that is well worn in our household. The sequel The Dunderheads Behind Bars is equally delightful.