Having read a few of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, I could not resist grabbing this book at the library. Sam is going through a phase of being really interested in knights and dragons and fairy tales, so I thought he might enjoy this too, but because Pratchett's adult books get a little ribald, I thought I should read it first.
This is totally appropriate for grade schoolers. No bad words, no off-color humor, not even any of what Sam calls "butt jokes." Just lots of funny, fanciful stories that Pratchett wrote when he was pretty young himself, for a local paper. I loved how he often turned fairy tale tropes upside down, especially in "Dragons at Crumbling Castle." The two stories about The Carpet People were probably my favorites, as they combine pioneers and fantasy and all sorts of funny stuff. And "The 59A Bus Goes Back in Time" was awesome.
Particularly Good Bits:
"It's too quiet, only it's the sort of quietness people make when they don't want you to hear them" (p. 181)("Another Tale of the Carpet People")
While the crooks were eating a sinister pork pie and a highly suspicious jam turnover, Fred Band -- the Blackbury champion -- was very worried (p. 212) ("The Great Egg-Dancing Championship") (This made me laugh a lot because it reminded me of one of my favorite lines in The Lone Ranger , where the Lone Ranger threatens to shut someone down for having a "fairly sinister jar of pickles" on the premises...)
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for some exciting and tense moments.