The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2: Big Birthday Bash

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2: Big Birthday Bash by Frank Cammuso

Amulet Books, 2014. 978-1419710261.

Synopsis: Salem has been invited to her friend Edgar’s birthday party and she’s intent on finding the perfect gift. Turns out, classmate Shelly took her gift idea and wants to use it as her own. Desperate to give Edgar the perfect gift, Salem resorts to using her magic to give Edgar the best party ever, resulting in a jam that only Whammy can help her out of and a lesson in being able to give from the heart.

Why I picked it up: I loved the first one and I was so excited to see the second one when I was at the American Library Association Annual Conference, where I also got a chance to meet Cammuso!

Why I finished it: There are so many things I loved about this book it’s hard to know where to start. Salem is still up to her same tricks and Whammy is still as disgruntled as ever, but they are just as dynamic a duo. We are also introduced to two of Salem’s classmates – Edgar and Shelly – which adds another layer to Salem’s school life. I like that Cammuso has utilized the same Bill Watterson-esque drawings while adding a bit of whimsy with a splash of pink that really brings the hunt for a present and the big birthday bash to life. Cammuso also has a keen sense of comedic timing as with the previous book that keeps the reader engaged and laughing along with his characters. Plus, the graphic novel format helps to draw us into the story and experience all of the action. It’s a quick read that is sure to delight readers of all ages that have a taste for adventure and a flair for the fantastic.

Other related materials: The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 1: Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso; The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 3: Cookie Catastrophe by Frank Cammuso; The Knights of the Lunch Table books by Frank Cammuso; Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke; Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke; The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke; Lunch Lady books by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; Babymouse books by Jennifer L. Holm; Daniel Boom AKA Loud Boy books by D.J. Steinberg; Missile Mouse books by Jake Parker; Secrets of a Lab Rat books by Trudi Trueit, illustrated by Jim Palliot; Frankie Pickle books by Eric Wight; Amulet books by Kazu Kibuishi

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