“Strikeout of the Bleacher Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales” is by prolific author David Lubar. He alternates between writing for middle grade readers and young adult readers and is able to shape his writing to best suit each age group.
In his “Weenies” series, he compiles groups of short stories that range in subject matter, including: a time traveling baseball game to a Mayan game where the winners are sacrificed; a girl whose face causes instant death once seen — for an unusual reason; dreams that don’t go the way they should; a magic performance that certainly doesn’t end as it should; another magic performance that does; and lots more warped (really, it’s even in the title!), weird, wacky and wild tales that middle grade students will adore.
For teachers, there are resources to help in using the stories in class. Lubar has a page devoted to organizing the short stories into groups by what literary terms they could be used to teach from alliteration to voice (there is nothing that starts with a “z.”). Also, encourage students to visit his website. It’s filled with humor and clean fun. One page is devoted to cat humor. He also has a topic listing that goes from abandonment to zombies in case educators are looking for a short story on a specific topic. Both pages could be extremely useful in the hands of an imaginative language arts teacher.
For readers who enjoy the Weenie tales, suggest some of Lubar’s novels for middle grade readers, including Flip (now out with a new cover), Hidden Talents, and all the other Weenie books, including “Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies.”
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Starscape, the publisher, for review purposes.