Book Review: Down with the Dance by C.T. Walsh

Meet Austin Davenport, whose fabulous luck landed him on this earth only eleven short months after his brother, Derek, putting them in the same grade. While Austin’s brain power is unmatched, it appears as if his brother got all the athletic gifts and the family butt-chin, meaning their parents love Derek more than Austin, or so it seems. 

Join Austin on his journey through the tumultuous waters of middle school as he navigates the swampy and undeodorized hallways and explores the depths of the cafeteria’s seafood surprise. 

Oh, and someone is plotting to take down the Halloween Dance, the one that Austin has his sights set on, so he can take Sophie Rodriguez, a girl way out of his league, but who doesn’t seem to know it.  

Can he stay one step ahead of the new principal who has it out for him? Will Austin figure out who the perpetrators are? Will he save the dance in time? Will he wear a diaper on a stakeout?  

This first in a planned series of twelve will have you ROFLing like you never have before.  

The funny and fast-paced nature of this series is meant for middle grade and early young adult readers.

Purchase Links

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Down with the Dance is a middle grade book that is a fun read even for an adult. It’s a funny, quick read, and middle grade readers will relate to Austin. He has to deal sibling rivalry, first love, and a principal who makes it clear that he doesn’t like Austin, all while trying to navigate the horror of middle school.

I love the humor in this book. The first thing that tickled me was that Austin describes his brother’s chin as a butt-chin. Derek, his brother, is 11 months older than Austin and his opposite. Can you imagine having your older brother in the same grade? Derek is all about sports and is a favorite at school and at home. He is a bully and does his best to make Austin’s life miserable.

The characters include bullies (Derek and the new principle), Austin’s crush, Sophie, and Austin’s best friend, Ben. It was easy to dislike Derek and the principle and to root for Austin not only when dealing with the bullies but when trying to save the dance. All he wanted was to take Sophie to the dance!

This is definitely a book that middle school readers will enjoy. The the writing is easy to follow and the humor is great!

About the Author

Besides writing fun, snarky humor and the occasionally-frequent fart joke, I love spending time with my family, coaching my kids’ various sports, and successfully turning seemingly unsandwichable things into spectacular sandwiches, while also claiming that I never eat carbs. I assure you, it’s not easy to do. I know what you’re thinking: this guy sounds complex, a little bit mysterious, and maybe even dashingly handsome, if you haven’t been to the optometrist in a while. And you might be right.

My goal with my writing is to engage young readers with fun and adventure. With so many competing forms of entertainment available to our kids (and so many of them mindless), I really try to provide a reading experience like no other.

I value the importance of combining fun with learning and life values. My stories are humorous and adventurous with strong characters and solid life lessons with some potty humor sprinkled in. You gotta give the kids what they want…Hey, it’s better to read fart jokes than to play video games, right?