Milo Speck, Accidental Agent, by Linda Urban

Milo Speck, Accidental Agent, by Linda Urban (HMH Books for Young Readers, Sept. 2015) is a fun fantasy for the older elementary kid who likes things quick and silly.

Milo's portal to a fantasy realm isn't a magical wardrobe or anything at all full wonder and enchantemnet; instead its a dryer.  A dryer that tumbles him (as it were) in a world of gigantic ogres, who would love to eat him!  He's not the first human to make his way to the ogres' oversized world-he soon finds out that his dad's company is in business there, and his dad himself might be in danger of ogreish execution!  So Milo sets out to find his dad, and in the process he rescues Tuck, the rather entitled daughter of the company boss, and a handful of other human kids, all the while having to constantly evade the rather hamfisted attempts of the ogres to keep their tasty snacks prisoners contained. 

It's a fine whimsical, easy read,  It's playful but given some weight by the very real dangers Milo faces, and bravely overcomes.   He is a kid who's not just copping with being inexperienced and unskilled, but who has to face bigger than life size (literally) challenges without giving up, and he rises to the occasion in fine style. Give this one to the kid who you think will find the dark humor  of a boy as a crunch snack food appealing (although don't worry--no kids are eaten and everyone gets safely home).  Not my own personal cup of tea--there's a limit to how many "escapes from ogres" I personally find interesting, even if each one has a different twist--but I can see lots of kids enjoying it lots.

disclaimer: review copy received for Cybils Award Consideration

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