I saw Hey, Al sitting on the shelf at the library where I work, and I picked it up on impulse for the kids. Would they like it? I didn't know, but I thought there was a good chance that they'd at least enjoy parts of it.
They really enjoyed Hey, Al. It was very easy for my nephew to understand, and he loved the spot of trouble that Al and Eddie found themselves in. He cracked up several times throughout the book, and just enjoyed the unwinding of the story. He had me read this book to him twice, and I suspect it will be one that he asks me to check out again.
My niece also enjoyed the story on the same level as my nephew, but also on a greater level, too. The point of the story is summed up on the last page, "Paradise lost is sometimes Heaven found." She spent some time trying to figure out what that meant, and she spent time analyzing whether or not Eddie and Al were better off in their every day lives, or in their alternate world. It was all a very metaphysical, Alice in Wonderland, we-gotta-figure-out-what-this-means story for her. Oh, and she thought it was funny, too. :-) All in all, it turned out to be a worthwhile impulse grab!