Mischief-Book 1

Mischief Series

Children - Adventure
254 Pages
Reviewed on 07/29/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Stefania Shaffer traded her corporate America clients for the middle school classroom in a bold move for a second career choice.

After teaching twenty-seven hundred students, she has learned a thing or two about teachable moments. Her firm belief is that childhood is meant for learning—and sometimes those lessons have nothing to do with the classroom.

Her desire is to reach kids who feel reading is a punishment and rope them in with some characters they will surely recognize within their own circle of friends.

There are only two types of children in the classroom—those who are at the center of trouble and those who are on the sidelines watching it brew.

She writes Middle-Grade Fiction and Non-Fiction for adults. She is a veteran teacher, keynote speaker, and SF radio guest. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite

Mischief, Book 1 is a modern day Tom Sawyer adventure from Stefania Shaffer. Slater Hannigan isn’t pleased when he learns that his fifth-grade teacher is Dana Burbank. But Miss Burbank isn’t thrilled either, having to endure the never-ending pranks of this troublesome, glib talking ten-year-old, who gets away with everything. When the school has a pie throwing contest, Slater and his friends conspire to earn the most money in order to win the coveted prize, which does not amuse his teacher. His mother throws a Halloween Haunt party that his classmates attend, but a witch predicts Slater’s future and it isn’t looking bright. Her disturbing words worry Slater even more when he sees them written in dripping red on the classroom door.

Middle Grader Slater Hannigan is the perfect blend between Tom Sawyer and Dennis the Menace. Mischief, Book 1 by Stefania Shaffer is a hilarious children’s adventure from the Mischief Series that will keep you amused. The appealing cover illustration complements the story’s theme. Slater is every teacher’s nightmare, the child no one wants in their class. I’m sure teachers can recall a student or two who are similar to Slater and his friends. This witty story gives excellent reflections of the student-teacher relationship in its most natural setting. The characters are well developed and unforgettable. I really like how the book is written and the author leaves intriguing hints of future adventures and mishaps to come. Not only pre-teens will love reading Mischief; adults will too.

Vernita Naylor

Brothers Slater and Graham Hannigan are as mischievous as they come; they're always up to something. Of the two boys, Slater is the most rambunctious in Mischief Book 1: Mischief Series by Stefania Shaffer. Slater will stop at nothing when he has his mind set on something, even if it means that others are affected. Like last year, when Graham broke his arm and had to have his new souvenir Super Bowl jersey cut, that his dad had just bought him, so that he could be operated on. Did Slater feel bad? Yes, but he just had to win the monkey bar race. He was so engrossed in the activity that he didn't even know it happened. With Slater at their school, teachers like Ms. Burbank and Principal Daly know that they're in for a daily mischievous ride. Slater has such a reputation to uphold that even though he wants to raise $300 for the school, he can't be seen picking up trash at the park with his friends and Grandpa. One day his reputation is tested and is at stake; let's see how Slater gets out of this one.

This is a great chapter book for children. It puts me in the mind of James Patterson’s Middle School series as we follow the life of Rafe Khatchadorian. Mischief Book 1: Mischief Series by Stefania Shaffer is the first of a 4-part series that children will not only enjoy but be able to connect with. I liked how this book offers so much for children to help them to become engaged in the story. This book is akin to a modern day Tom Sawyer, which helps to bring the Tom Sawyer legacy to life. Tom Sawyer would skip school to swim and trick his friends into doing his chores that he was made to perform as punishment for his numerous outlandish antics. Also, children can get an invitation to become a VIP member of Mischief-Makers and the chance to win top secret giveaways and previews.

Jack Magnus

Mischief: The Mischief Series, Book 1 is a humorous adventure novel for children, grades 4-6, written by Stefania Shaffer. Dana Burbank loved teaching elementary school, and she was especially looking forward to starting this new year. She’d be teaching fifth-graders now, and she was thrilled to hear that she would be teaching in Room 14, Elsa Wilson’s old room, instead of the dark portable classroom she had been using for the last few years. Elsa Wilson, a teacher whose legendary status at Esther Bookman Elementary School was well deserved, had finally decided to retire and travel after her forty years of service. Dana would have her work cut out for her in getting that classroom ready, but those issues paled in comparison to the dire news Principal Bill Daly had for her. It seemed that in giving her the good news about her new room assignment, Bill had saved the awful news for last -- he had added Slater Hannigan to her roster for the year. Slater had made her fourth grade class last year a trial and an all-round miserable experience. Slater Hannigan wasn’t really a bad kid; rather he was a force of nature with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of pranks, jokes and other methods designed to drive his teachers crazy. While flattered by Bill’s assurances of his faith in her abilities, knowing she’d have to endure Slater’s presence in her classroom for yet another year made Dana wonder if she should leave teaching altogether.

Stefania Shaffer’s humorous adventure novel for children introduces ten-year-old Slater Hannigan, the bane of elementary school teachers, and his teacher, Dana Burbank, whose worst nightmare -- Slater in her fifth-grade classroom -- has become a reality. Shaffer, who faced her own middle school classes as a teacher, manages to get the reader engaged in both Dana's and Slater’s stories, and to have a grand time doing so. I particularly enjoy the crazy, zany humor that I’ve often found in children’s novels written for middle-school graders, and my expectations for wildly funny and action-packed adventures were fully realized. Shaffer’s characters are vividly drawn, and her classroom scenes are brilliant -- especially Elsa Wilson’s dramatic return as a substitute teacher for Dana’s class. Slater’s famous Halloween Haunt is also a high point in this most entertaining work that’s a hoot, not only for middle-schoolers but any adventurous adult who is fortunate enough to retain that special preteen appreciation for the goofy and unpredictably funny aspects of life. Shaffer has included a teaser from her next book in the series, entitled Mayhem, and I’m certainly looking forward to reading it. Mischief: The Mischief Series, Book 1 is most highly recommended.