This is a fun story. Chunky is a good look at one kid (Yehudi Mercado) and his struggles, but who always seems to be okay with the results. Hudi might not have won (at baseball, soccer, or football), but he did not lose. He just has a perfect record of not winning. And getting hit by the ball (except in swimming).
The humor is sometimes borderline adult, but ages 8-9 (strong reader) to around 13-14 could get a kick out of it. Due to this being a reader copy, I will not comment on the illustrations, other to say, I do think they are going to be perfect for the tone of the work (due to what I did see).
I like Hudi. He is mostly relatable (instead of taking my lack of athletic ability in stride as he does, I had a less positive approach), but I understand having the one thing you are really good and really love not always to be what others think is cool. We watch as Hudi and his friend Chunky (imaginary, or actually is more of an invisible mascot for Hudi) take on bullies, a dad being a little disappointed in him, sisters who are sisters and a mom who cares but does not always understand her only son. We see how the humor is what pushes Hudi along, how it makes him happy. And how being yourself is all any of us can do. Especially when you do you the best way possible.
Chunky is based on Mecado’s own life, struggles, joys, and sorrows. Due to come out this summer, this is a book that even if you are not a lower-middle class Mexican Jewish kid with a funny name, you should read.