Synopsis: Clara Humble, the winsome and uber-confident fourth-grader who’s been described as -Ramona Quimby meets Timmy Failure- is back for a second adventure. When Clara and her best friend, Bradley, discover their favorite game show, Smarty Pants–a mix of trivia and obstacle course stunts — is recruiting in their area, Clara is sure she’ll be chosen. Fame and game-show glory will be hers… with Bradley’s help, of course.
Things get complicated when Bradley also earns a contestant spot on the show, and the friends are pitted against each other. It escalates into an epic schoolyard battle between boys and girls, and not everyone is playing fair. Will Clara and Bradley’s friendship survive? Between the tension, sabotage, shenanigans, and Clara’s comics featuring her alter ego @Cat, this is a flat-out funny, fast-paced read.
My Review: This is the second book in the Clara Humble series. These books are geared to children ages 8 to 12. Nine year old Clara has a best friend named Bradley, they are neighbours and are also in the same fourth grade class. She is the outspoken, loud, visible one and he is the quiet one who cheers her on.
When Clara and Bradley find out that their favourite game show, Smarty Pants is going to be filming in their home town, they are excited. Clara is sure that she will be chosen as a participant with Bradley’s help. She already knows how she will spend the $1000.00 she will win getting her comic book printed. Bradley trains Clara, but on the day of the auditions, he tries out as well. They both get selected and will have to compete against one another. As the competition heats up, the boys and girls in the school begin to sabotage one another and cheat in order to win. Not only do things get sticky on the set, but it escalates into a girls against boys battle at school as well. As things heat up, a rift between Clara and Bradley develops. Will Clara and Bradley’s friendship survive? Will the girls and boys at school ever get along again? Who will win Smarty Pants?
Lots of issues in this book. You could discuss bullying, competition, fair play, friendship, challenges between the sexes, honesty and more. The illustrations are a combination of black and white drawings of Clara and Bradley and Clara’s comic strip @cat. They are cute and add to the story with intermittent appearances. A great book for a public, school, class or home library. Great for reluctant readers as it is quite relatable to middle grade students. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.