James is a very average kid. He received all C's in school, he is ok at sports but not great, he gets along with other kids, but wouldn't say he has a lot of friends. One day, James has a thought and exclaims that he must be the most average person alive! James' exclamation is heard and he is approached by a not-so-average talking goat named Mayor Culpa. Mayor Culpa wants James to be the new King of Average since their former king has disappeared. Mayor Culpa transports James to the Land of Average where he must complete a quest in order to become the King of Average. On his quest he is accompanied by some strange friends including his talking goat, and a duo of a Professional Pessimist and Optimist. As James explores the land of Average he is sent to such places as The Sea of Doubt, Appathia, The Flatterlands, Uppity, and Shangri-La where he might just reach Epiphany. On his journey, James will discover if he is fit to be the King of Average of if he is above average.
This is a wonderful book for middle-grade readers who are probably facing a lot of the same feelings as James. Humor, word play and wonderfully imaginative characters and places created a fun and whimsical story. Some of the word play might go over younger readers heads, such as Mayor Culpa as a professional scapegoat. However, the intention of the story, for James to come into his own and deal with his emotions and feelings as they come to life as people and things will be something that any reader can relate to. I did love reading about James' adventures in the different parts of Average and exploring the places and people there. Overall, a magical and imaginative coming-of-age and character building story for middle-grade readers.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.