An avid daydreamer and comic strip writer (the adventures of Secret Agent Derek 'Danger' Dale are a delightful subplot), Eric frequently finds himself the centre of accidental accidents and faux pas. But not to worry - best friend William 'Choo-Choo or Chewy' Rodriguez believes in looking on the bright side of life. It's all about positivity, you see.
But can positivity get you out of the most embarrassing nickname curse in the history of mankind!? Not likely.
Enter the 'new girl' - Aasha - a shy and quietly petrified Somalian. While Eric spends his days thrashing around trying to shake free his Epic Fail curse, will this sweet, quiet girl hold the key to Eric's Epic Win?
Eric Vale is the cutest, most flawed, most perfect and likeable character I've met in a long time. Michael Gerard Bauer has penned a fast-paced, deftly-woven, faultless (unlike Eric), super-fun tale that will have young readers absolutely hooked. Totally awesome, really excellent wordage, adages and idioms make me wonder if Mr Bauer is indeed still in the fifth grade - that's how perfectly relatable the story is for kids.
I laughed out constantly with this book. The humour is not only divinely witty and very visual - its style has enormous crossover appeal. Riddled with truly funny and very clever illustrations by Bauer's own son, Joe, the book is also ideal for reluctant readers.
Eric Vale is NOT an Epic Fail. More please.
For a fascinating blog post on the workings behind this brilliant father and son team, head right here.
Title: Eric Vale - Epic Fail
Author: Michael Gerard Bauer
Illustrator: Joe Bauer
Publisher: Scholastic, $14.99 RRP
For ages: 7 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction, Humour