Review: The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield ~ John Bemelmans Marciano, Sophie Blackall

9 livesAlexander Baddenfield is a horrible boy—a really horrible boy—who is the last in a long line of lying, thieving scoundrels.  One day, Alexander has an astonishing idea.  Why not transplant the nine lives from his cat into himself?  Suddenly, Alexander has lives to spare, and goes about using them up, attempting the most outrageous feats he can imagine.  Only when his lives start running out, and he is left with only one just like everyone else, does he realize how reckless he has been.

4 Thumbs-UpThis book is aimed at middle school grade age children, and is one of those books that every child should be allowed to enjoy and revel in at least once in their lives.  And at 135 pages in length, it won’t take too long for the more experienced or confident reader in that age range to get through.

The character of the title is spoiled, mean, despicable and downright disobedient; everything parents don’t want their child to be.  However, the Author does take the time to fill the reader in on the back story of the Family, and in doing so tries to explain why he acts the way he does.  As is the case with books for this age range, there is little to no character development and that is just fine with this reader.

Yes, the book is slightly cynical and downright morbid at times, but this is part of its charm, and why so many children would enjoy it; Alexander is able to do and get away with things that can only happen within the pages of a book, and in this sense it really lets the reader’s imagination run riot, not only during the reading but afterwards.  The illustrations in the book do every word justice and, in themselves would be worthy of a 4 thumbs rating.

So if you are looking for something darkly funny to either read yourself or with your children, check this book out of your local library and sit down to enjoy the laughs.