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The Ministry of SUITs

Children have a wealth of meaningful, important books from which to choose, but sometimes kids just need an insanely funny read. “Nothing too sad” is a request I have heard on many an occasion. Debut author Paul Gamble delivers on this request with The Ministry of SUITs.

Set in Northern Ireland, the story begins with Jack Pearse and his best friend, David, as their school bus is stopped by a bear in the road. Jack, always curious, gets out to see what’s going on. After fending off the bear with a wooden chair, Jack is invited by a mysterious man to join the Ministry of SUITs (Strange, Unusual, and Impossible Things). At first, Jack isn’t so sure about joining, but when a suspicious “supporter” of his school starts installing thick carpets on the floors and providing new uniforms that are exactly like their old ones, Jack figures it might be time to investigate.

Gamble packs in all the weird things you can think of: dinosaurs, pirates, dimensional time shifting and even Cthulhu. Oddball footnotes and excerpts from the Ministry handbook add to the overall inanity, making this the perfect laugh-out-loud read.

Jennifer Bruer Kitchel is the librarian for a Pre-K through 8th level Catholic school.

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