The Boring Days and Awesome Nights of Roy Winklesteen 3
by Sally Dill
Genre: Middle Grade / Action & Adventure
Print Length: 286 pages
Reviewed by Samantha Hui
Funny and entertaining with a heartfelt message
Will you be a nightlifer or a daylifer? The Boring Days and Awesome Nights of Roy Winklesteen 3 will have children hungry for midnight adventures and have parents double-checking their children’s beds for pillow bodies.
“Could forgettable Charles Royston Winklesteen III become the next superhero–complete with flowing cape, rippling muscles, and two trusted sidekicks parading him around their shoulders?”
Roy Winklesteen is a normal sixth grader just like many others: he has an annoying younger sister, he gets bullied, and he is often jealous of his friends. However, Roy has a secret, and this secret has placed him in danger of getting kidnapped by the wealthy inventor and his wife, the Fernsbys.
With the help of his sidekicks, Suki and Nicholas, Roy has to outmaneuver and outwit the Fernsbys and their greedy tactics. This third book of the Boring Days and Awesome Nights of Roy Winklesteen series is jam-packed with silly inventions, loyal friends, and wacky enemies.
“Occasionally he would worry about Bart, but managing six classes in middle school while steering clear of any pre-teen awkwardness tended to stifle any other worries, at least until the dismissal bell rang.”
Roy is friends with a grown-up inventor named Bart who has created many contraptions; the Majestic Flier, BinGloculars, and the GlirpBlaster to name a few. But then Bart’s former mentor’s wife, Mrs. Fernsby, kidnaps him, determined to coerce him into creating an invention that will make her rich.
Her mind clouded by greed and vanity, she’s even willing to drag Roy and any other child who gets in her way into the mix of things. Suki has the ability to become invisible with the help of the invisibility spray she and grandmother accidentally made; Nicholas has the gumption of a star athlete and good friend; and Roy has all of Bart’s inventions and teachings at his disposal to get the job done.
“Every time he wanted to crawl into his toasty bed, he reminded himself that an exciting life was often accompanied by risk and pain.”
What I love most about this book is its desire to have fun above all else. The outrageous nature of the inventions and the Fernsby’s antics are delightful to read. There’s even an invention called the Desagulator that’s meant to de-age users, but the suction is so strong that it leaves Mrs. Fernsby “look[ing] like a candle melting upside down.”
“If the Desagulator was such a terrible invention, how’d it make her happy?”
“The same way a lot of useless inventions make people happy. They want them to work, so they convince themselves that they do.”
I also admire how this book is about the insecurities that often possess young adults. Roy sometimes feels as if he doesn’t belong or that he’s not good enough. His friend Suki is so smart that she’s able to concoct an invisibility spray, and his best friend Nicholas—though simply a daylifer (someone who doesn’t experience the adventures of the night)—is a soccer champion with the bravery to jump into situations without a plan. Much of the book follows Roy as he comes to terms with his jealousy toward his friends and learns the true meaning of friendship.
“Regardless, Roy knew why he was happy. Finally, some daylifers were getting a glimpse of his budding confidence.”
This book is a great bedtime book to read with your children as well as a great book for middle schoolers to read undercovers with a flashlight. I encourage all readers, young and old, to embrace the nightlifer sense of adventure.
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