Early Reader Success: Desert Dustup (Wheelnuts Series #1)

Desert DustupDesert Dustup (Wheelnuts #1) by Knife and Packer

Let me start by saying that I have *not* read this entire book. I was flipping through it when my son all but ripped it out of my hands. Then he proceeded to spend his afternoon quiet time reading it. Yes, the entire almost-100-page book. And for him, this is a *very* big deal. He can read – he’s good at it – but he still doesn’t choose to do it, unless I’m making him or offering him no other options.

This book though? He read all on his own, and willingly, and then came to me to request that I get him the sequel.

So yes, the book is silly. It’s not great literature. It’s like a cartoon, put into book form.

But it’s also really, really engaging and appealing for my 6 year old boy, and got him excited to read. So I wouldn’t recommend it if you’ve got solid readers who don’t “need” this sort of text, but if you’ve got reluctant readers who would enjoy this format (lots of illustrations, very short chapters, fast-paced action) this is probably my son’s favorite book that he’s read himself. At least until he gets book #2, Spooky Smackdown. (And if you’re wondering about the age range for it, it’s suggested for ages 7 – 10.)

Disclosure: This is an Usborne book, and I’m an independent consultant for them (i.e., I sell them). I’m still going to give you my honest opinion on their books though, because every book isn’t right for every reader. If you buy from my link I’ll receive a commission, which goes to support the blog and my homeschooling adventure. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: A Scholar of Magic
Two years ago: Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family
Three years ago: Favorite Books of Hope & Redemption


  1. Cool! I’ll have to check it out for Christopher. He’s obsessed with racing and winning. He’ll probably love it!

    • Probably will, but a warning if you’re opposed to it: there is some humor about burps etc. (my son just pointed that out to me the other day, when I tweeted about the book). That’s just one more reason to love it as far as he’s concerned. (One of the car teams is two babies, and they have lots of burps and spit-ups. Nothing grosser that I noticed flipping quickly through the book, but much to my son’s disappointment I haven’t yet read the book).


  1. […] it – now it’s a little bit too easy for him. Because it is a much easier read than Wheelnuts, if you have a reader who isn’t quite ready for those books, this one might be a better fit. […]

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