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Solar System Superhero: Stink #5    by Megan McDonald & Peter H. Reynolds order for
Solar System Superhero
by Megan McDonald
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Solar System Superhero (by Megan McDonald and with hilarious sketches and comic illustations by Peter H. Reynolds) is the fifth episode in their Stink early chapter book series, Stink being the nickname of the elementary school protagonist.

It begins with a test on the solar system, for which Stink Moody prepares by enlisting the help of big sister Judy (flattery gets him everywhere). His brainy big sister teaches him the mnemonic My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas as an aid to remembering the planet names.

How does the test go? Poor Stink gets a big red mark on his Pluto questions. Why? Because Pluto has been downgraded from planet to Number 134340 (a dwarf planet) because it 'is too small, and has a weird orbit.' Being small himself, Stink doesn't take this lightly and neither does his new friend Skunk.

They advocate for Pluto, while Riley Rottenberger (who reminds her peers at every opportunity that she attended space camp) insists that 'Pluto is Dead'. So their teacher sets up a debate, with Stink and Riley heading the competing teams. In the process, they discover they have much more in common than they knew.

These kids are creative and their actions and preparations hilarious, making Solar System Superhero great fun. I especially loved the comics which teach a thing or two about the planets in a very accessible fashion.

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