Anna Smudge – Professional Shrink is one of the cooliest books I’ve read in a long time. Anna is a middle-school girl who doesn’t really know what she’s good at till she gets in trouble. She ends up talking to a guidance counselor who convinces her she’s good at listening to and helping others. She decides to become an 11 year old shrink…”uh, therapist”, and starts getting many clients, including one who is a hit man hired to kill someone very important.
For a children’s book, Anna Smudge – Professional Shrink had some pretty adult situations. What I mean by that is the book put the main character in real situations, even if they were scary or “mature”. This caught me off guard at first, but I liked it. I found the book very easy to read; I breezed threw it in a couple days. Every chapter had something exciting in it and really kept my interest.
The characters satisfied me more than I expected they would. Each one was different but believable enough to care about. My favorite was Donny “The Meatball” Fratelli, an interesting bad guy but not completely one-sided. Author MAC showed Donny’s personality changing and made it flow.
The graphic art by DC/Marvel comic artist Glenn Fabry, colorized by Sean Ellery, was excellent, and really added to the story and intensity of the characters. Popular cover artist Greg Horn will have kids grabbing it at Barnes & Noble. Check out the characters images below:
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The plot seems well thought out and it all seemed to fit together in the end. I really dug the way she structured the chapters, counting down to the conclusion. Several times I thought, “Hmm. I think I know what might happen”, but was then surprised how things turned out. It was fun trying to figure out each mystery. I didn’t just read this book, I participated. I was surprised with the ending, and I am looking forward to the next book in the “Professionals” series by MAC.
Recommend for: 10 – 14 years old.
(Review based on an advanced uncorrected proof)
Here’s some links to additional reviews, interviews, and stories related to the Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink book debut:
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