HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Norman and The Stinking Space Goo: An Extremely Smelly Story
Author and Illustrator: Michael Wilhelm
Publisher: Lulu Publishing, 2007
Related website: http://www.skunk-guy.com (series)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8-13
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Wilhelm, Michael. Norman and The Stinking Space Goo: An Extremely Smelly Story (originally copyrighted in 2001; published in 2007 by Lulu Publishing). If there were such a thing as a “super-hero” and you could be one, what kind would you choose to be? When our boys were small, they liked various super-heroes, so I used to tease them and ask if there were only one super-hero, “The Stench” who emitted such an awful smell that he could stop criminals in their tracks, left open in the league, would they be willing to be him? Well, apparently someone else had the same idea! Fourteen-year-old Norman Flinch lives in Ft. Wayne, IN, with his dad Ed, mother Janice, and older sister Barb. Norman, six-foot tall and very skinny, is a fairly typical teenage boy who is practically addicted to comic books and hates chores.
One Saturday, while finally mowing the lawn, Norman accidentally runs over a strange object that explodes and covers him with a smelly goo. Unbeknownst to him, an alien scientist named Homililly from the planet Rentar had unintentionally lost it while on earth doing research. The goo leaves him with a rancid aroma that keeps everyone around him gagging. With the help of his nerdy genius schoolmate Wendell Higgins, he learns that he can control the smell and even emit different aromas, so following the example of one of his favorite comic books, the Mighty Space Mites, he decides to become a super-hero known as “The Stinking Stalker.” But when his sister is babysitting a few blocks away and calls her brother because she thinks that someone is breaking in the house, will the Stinking Stalker be able to help or will he do more harm?
Any kid, or kid-at-heart, who likes comic books, super-heroes, humorous science fiction, or zany antics will enjoy this madcap but wholesome adventure. The phrase “Lord knows” and the euphemistic “heck” are each found once, but there is nothing questionable or generally inappropriate for children, such as gratuitous violence or offensive sexuality, just “good clean fun” as one reviewer put it. Norman’s family attend church, but understandably Norman is excused the day after his accident due to his, er, problem. The name Skunk-Guy comes about because the police and the press misidentify the unknown hero as “Skunk-Guy” instead of the Stinking Stalker. Norman and The Stinking Space Goo is the first “Official Skunk-Guy Adventure.” Jumpin’ crud! What will happen to Norman in the sequel, Skunk-Guy: The Sensational Slime Saga?