Focus on the Family


A book review for parents

This humorous slice-of-life book by Katy Kelly is published by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books and is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Plot Summary

Whether he's getting his foot stuck in a tree after climbing on rooftops or trying to track down a snake he's lost in his house, 10-year-old Adam "Melonhead" Melon never has to look far to find trouble. Along with his friend Sam, Adam tries repeatedly to develop an invention (actually, a "reinvention" — because it must be made of recycled materials) for the school science contest. Adam's and Sam's parents, neighbors Pop and Madam, the science teacher and other adults patiently nurture and encourage the boys. Ultimately, the rescue kit they create wins the science contest and earns them a trip to the semifinals.

Christian Beliefs


Authority Roles

Adam's mom is a worrier and frequently on edge, partly because of her daredevil son's activities. She dislikes how his dad has attended a conference on Sunday because she believes Sunday should be a family day. Dad works for a congressman, so he often stays at the office late and tells the family he needs to focus on the big picture. He does show up when he's needed to help Adam out of a crisis. Pop and Madam are Adam's neighbors: The neighborhood kids like to hang out with them, and Pop has given Adam permission to climb on his roof anytime. Mr. Santalices, the science teacher, uses humor as he inspires and encourages his students to work on their science projects.

Other Belief Systems

Adam says his classmates with good ideas are lucky, and he thanks his lucky stars for Pop. Another of Adam's friends says he's going to a baby sitter's wedding at Temple Sinai.

Profanity/Graphic Violence

Peeing, farting, poop and butts are mentioned several times by Adam and his friends. Adam's mom thinks talk like this is vulgar but Adam finds it hilarious. Adam and his friend talk about a kid who broke his arm and had a bone poke through his skin before it (the bone) flew across the playground. Adam is a little sad when Cobra (a garter snake) swallows a mouse whole.





Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.