Old school science fiction meets middle grade. What if a bioengineered flesh-eating bacteria was set loose in the woods? What if three unsuspecting children found it by mistake? Could a global catastrophe be avoided?

Sachar masterfully weaves an all too believable “disaster story” around the lives of three tweens who worry about the usual “middle grade” kinds of things: fitting in, not being bullied, and being loved by family. Do such mundane things even matter in a disaster? The answer is yes. No matter how dire the circumstances or how big the problem, finding a solution depends on the simplest of things: knowing how to work well with others, no matter what the differences. It’s a lesson we all learned in school.

Louis Sachar is best known for his series Sideways Stories From Wayside School and the award-winning novel Holes. Fuzzy Mud is the story of how a rule follower, Tamaya Dhilwaddi, bullied Marshall Walsh, and a bully Chad Hilligas avert a global disaster. With pacing like a thriller and plenty of heart that depicts the sweet and sometimes harsh reality of middle school, Fuzzy Mud will have readers wondering how close our world is to disaster at any given moment. With excellent science tie-ins and unforgettable characters, it is a must read.