They say you should never judge a book by its cover. I failed to take that into account when I picked up BEWARE THE NINJA WEENIES: AND OTHER WARPED AND CREEPY TALES by David Lubar. This is the sixth book in Lubar’s “Weenies” series of short stories, and in all honesty, I've been avoiding this series, because I don't like "that kind of book." But this wasn't the book I thought it would be! I expected to find stories rife with potty humor and crass jokes, similar to the Captain Underpants series of books. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a collection of clever and thought-provoking speculative fiction stories.
In this collection, the reader will find a boy who is so involved in his video game that he doesn’t notice a real alien invasion and a girl who might destroy the universe in the process of discovering its secrets. Children will meet broccoli that learns how to talk and pleads for its life, an alien who performs in a sideshow act, and many more fascinating characters. Lubar’s tales include plenty of the gross factor to appeal to young readers*, but he doesn’t rely on the “ewww, gross” response to carry the stories forward. Like Isaac Asimov for young people, this collection of short stories is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever wondered, “what if?”
* (I was going to say that the gross factor appeals to young boys, but then I thought of my own dear daughter, who loves stories that make everyone around her cringe. Let's face it: Love of gross things is a universal kid trait and not gender-based at all!)