Tyrone the Terrible review by upst8reader
Age Range - 8 - 12
Genre - Animals
Five Star Award

LitPick Review

Age at time of review - 11
Reviewer's Location - Corning, New York, United States
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Tyrone, the smallest chameleon in the bayou, has been having problems since the moment he was born. He needs extra food, is too weak to play baseball with the other chameleons, and can't make any friends. His favorite place to be is alone on Sun Rock, where none of the other animals ever went. Thus begins Tyrone the Terrible, an animal fable by Jan Lis. Then one day when Tyrone is talking to himself, a squirrel named Junior overhears his troubles. He tells Tyrone that the solution to his problems would be working out in order to get bigger and stronger. Tyrone feels positive that this will make the other animals like him more, so he tries it. But as Tyrone starts to get bigger and gain some confidence, he realizes that being “bigger and badder” might not be what he needs to be happy. Will being stronger be all it takes to make friends? Will he finally find a way to escape his problems?


In Tyrone the Terrible, you can never predict what's going to happen next. The plot twists and vivid descriptions of the bayou animal characters pulled me into the book. Lis introduces the reader to the perfect amount of amusing characters, all with very different personalities. There's a chameleon obsessed with his size, a squirrel who becomes a personal trainer, a book-loving opossum, and a mean, old alligator. Having animals that can talk, play baseball, and read certainly isn’t realistic, but the fantasy in the book made it even more interesting. I really like that this book has a life lesson hidden in the animal story: when you’re small and weak, being big and powerful seems like it will be fun, but making friends is all about being nice. I would recommend this book for 7-12 year olds who are looking for a fun, quick read with a positive message. 

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