Little, Brown and Company
Published September 16, 2013
Hardcover, 480 pages
Who knew James Patterson could write fun middle-grade books? (I must add this one is co-written with Chris Grabenstein.) When I saw this book at Costco, I picked it up thinking my son and I would enjoy reading it together, especially since it's filled with cool drawings. I was right. This was an action packed adventure tale of four siblings looking for treasure that would ultimately probably lead to their missing parents.
The story is told by Bick, as he tells us right from the first paragraph, whereas his sister Beck is the one doing the drawings. They are 12 year-old twins with one older sister, 14 year-old Storm, who's a socially awkward genius, and Tommy, their 17 year-old dude brother. They were all homeschooled on their sailing ship. Their dad is a world-famous oceanographer and treasure hunter, and the kids are his crew! But when both their parents go missing, the kids take action, following clues left by their parents to track them down.
Of course, the thugs, gangsters and dubious characters they meet and outsmart along the way, including all the dangerous situations they get in and out of (shark-infested water fights, anyone?) only served to make this a book my 9 year-old son absolutely loved. The twins are funny, and Bick's remarks about his family members are affectionate. The siblings work together, using each other's strong points to survive and cope being without the parents they respect and look up to.
This was a fun book to read with my son. The illustrations are great and I would say this book is part graphic novel, minus the dialogue bubbles. I just think that the illustrator Julianna Neufeld's name should be on the front cover since half the pages are illustrations and are an integral part of the story. This is a perfect book for reluctant readers. And it looks like it's part of a series, so we look forward to reading the second book.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read. There are fight scenes but they are cartoonish.
Reviewed by Laura & Son
Disclosure: I bought this book and was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
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