Review: Four Week Filth Fest

Four Week Filth FestFour Week Filth Fest by P.A. Kernan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit, the cover put me on my guard with Four Week Filth Fest. I was prepared for preschool level stuff. So, I ended up pleasantly surprised! It’s definitely more than it looks at first glance.

Four Week Filth Fest is about 4th grader Andy Baker who has been a quiet loner his whole life. So when he suddenly gets the urge to undertake an insane “promise” — to go four weeks without bath or shower — it’s a huge deal, not just for him, but for the whole school! Andy suddenly finds himself a popular celebrity, and he’s determined not to let anyone down. But with bossy Molly Cartwright (“the most annoying girl in the fourth grade”) trying to make him fail at every turn, Andy’s not sure if he can succeed.

The story is told from a 4th grader’s viewpoint, and the characters are humorously believable, doing “sensible” (to a 4th grader) things that make moms everywhere cringe. The humor and detail are perfect for kids and will even have parents of grade-schoolers laughing (because we all know our kids have done these things!). The short, easy paragraphs are spot-on for 2nd to 3rd grade readers. While the book is short, the author kept it busy with great funny imagery and scenerios, and even pulled in an unexpected twist and some kid-level lessons about friendship and learning to stand up for yourself. My only complaint was that it seemed like there was some connection building up with the scene at his grandparents house, but nothing ended up coming of it. Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by Four Week Filth Fest.

The book will be great for kids who enjoy chapter books having to do with school and for those who like stories about the shy kid stepping out of his shell.

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