Publishers Weekly Review
Wilmer Dooley is a budding scientist, and he has a serious crush on fellow sixth-grader Roxie McGhee. So when a virus breaks out at school, and Roxie falls ill, Wilmer dedicates himself to finding the cure, which could also win him the sixth-grade science medal. The virus turns people vibrant colors and gives them excessive energy, just one of the offbeat touches in this exuberant novel from DeWitt (a pseudonym for author Allan Woodrow), which mixes Wilmer's scientific journal entries into a lively third-person narrative. The gross factor is high, with vivid descriptions of the vomit and mucus Wilmer collects as samples for his investigation. Adults are generally useless and bumbling, leaving the real work to the kids. Wilmer's nemesis, Claudius, plots against him, as does evil science teacher Valveeta Padgett, but the good guys have science on their side as they fight for the cure and the medal. Filled with entertaining twists and nutty characters, DeWitt's story celebrates friendship and perseverance. Art not seen by PW. Ages 7-10. Author's agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-Wilmer Dooley wants to be a scientist when he grows up. His father is the famous food inventor of Sugar BUZZZZ, and he won the sixth-grade science medal when he was in middle school. Now, Wilmer is desperate to win that medal for himself. He approaches life using observations and hypotheses to figure out everything from how to get his crush, Roxie, to notice him to solving the mysterious epidemic that is plaguing the students of Mumpley Middle School. The epidemic begins with a cold, but soon turns the students pink, purple, green, polka dot, plaid, etc., all while giving them boundless energy. The number of infected keeps increasing, and Wilmer believes that by finding the cause and cure, he will not only help his fellow students but also win the coveted medal. Unfortunately, Claudius Dill, his nemesis, has the same idea. However, the attempts by science teacher Mrs. Padgett to thwart him and Claudius's tricks are no match for Wilmer's determination. Ultimately the two boys find that they must work together to find the cure before it's too late. Wilmer is a likable protagonist who approaches life with caution but isn't afraid to dive in and get his hands dirty when necessary. Quirky and humorous, this book will find an appreciative audience. The over-the-top digs at our junk-food culture and the silly character names add to the enjoyment.-Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.