What’s beautiful in Fuzzy Mud?

fuzzy mud“Careful. I’m all covered in mud,” she warned.

The man chuckled and said, “A little mud never hurt anyone.”

It’s mud. It’s fuzzy and disgusting. It’s a new energy science experiment gone wrong, and it can really hurt you. But that’s not really what this book’s about. There are friends, and kids who should stand up and be friends but don’t, and a pretty unhappy bully. Actually, most of the kids are unhappy or worried or angry or afraid, but they don’t realize they’re not alone in that, and the distance that builds up and the fear of being alone is really what moves things along.

The story is interspersed with excerpts from government hearings about the microorganisms that get into the mud, complete with pompous officials and passionate denials that anything is wrong. Anyone watching the news will be familiar with those characters – different names but the same old drama.

In the end, one student acts to save another, and the outcome of the disaster changes.   Looking for a different way to talk about friendship, bullying, and the environment all at once? This might be it.

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