Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Mark Parisi
Marty notices things that others don’t—like that there’s something wrong with their teacher, Mr. McPhee. Additionally, the new girl, Analie, keeps catching him at the worst possible times. Whenever he does something embarrassing, she’s somehow there. Between trying to save the world from an alien invasion that no one believes in and summoning the courage to speak a full sentence to Analie, Marty is also trying to grow into the career he feels he was born for—being an artist. Eventually, Marty finally talks with Analie, but just as he finally gets the courage to talk to her he finds out she is leaving. Yet, through it all, he stays diligent to saving the world and, in the end, his powers of persuasion help him do exactly that.
Mark Parisi has brought an imaginative and lively character to life in Marty Pants. The illustrations are in black and white and align very well with the age-range and middle school feeling. There are lists, essays, papers, spelling tests, bullies, and annoying sisters that may or may not at one time have been a robot. This book is a great transition choice for students who are struggling making the leap from picture books to chapter books. While there are paragraphs and text, it is broken up with lots of clarifying and comical illustrations throughout. It has relatively decent binding, slightly light paper, a full-color cover illustration, and an alien-conspiracy theory laid to rest. Overall, it is a decent read that would be entertaining for elementary and middle-school readers.