Last fall, I had read some reviews that promoted The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, a middle grade novel by Dana Alison Levy, as a fun and worthwhile read. I considered taking it out, but it wasn’t until a patron (who reads many middle grade novels and picture books with her two sons) told me how much her family liked the book that I actually took it out and found out for myself. I am so glad I did, and I’m sure that if you give the family Fletcher a try, you will, like me, wish the book would never end.
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher reminded me of classic family stories (a sentiment shared by author Bruce Coville), but the family Fletcher is thoroughly modern, consisting of two dads and four adopted sons of different backgrounds. This school year, the sporty family is facing a new challenge: a grumpy neighbour who doesn’t like the noisy and gregarious family next-door. On top of the unfriendly Mr. Nelson, each of the boys faces different school-year challenges. Sam, the oldest and a soccer fanatic, is determined to make the elite team this year. Jax, new to the upper elementary school, wants to fit in and be cool. Eli is sure he’s going to love his new academically-oriented school, and Frog (also known as Jeremiah), is starting kindergarten and eager to make new friends. But nothing goes exactly as expected for these brothers.
This is a heartwarming real-life story that blends humour, heart and silliness in perfect ratios. The characters are unique and memorable, with individual quirks and personalities that make them stick with you long after you turn the last page. Every time I would read about one of the brothers, I was convinced that he was my favourite, and I realized at the very end that the whole family was my favourite. I loved their interactions and their camaraderie, and as someone with siblings myself, I also enjoyed the disagreements and sibling politics that cropped up!
When I finished the book, I was reminded of the rollicking fun of the Steve Martin Cheaper by the Dozen movies, which is a compliment because those movies still make me smile. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher is a novel full of wonderfully funny shenanigans, and you won’t be able to resist sharing it with those you love!