The Templeton Twins Have an Idea (Templeton Twins, #1)
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The Templeton Twins Have an Idea (Templeton Twins #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  923 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins-adults-named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeto...more
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by Chronicle Books (first published April 1st 2012)
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i read this because i came across an excerpt that made it sound really fun. despite my aversion to twins, and my not reading much middle grade, i thought i would enjoy this, because - puzzles! and chapters with names like Other Things Happen In An Exciting Manner!and an intrusive aggressive narrator who berates the reader throughout the story and gives questions at the end of every chapter such as What were the names of Abigail and John, the Templeton twins? and Explain, in fifty words or less,...more
Paul  Hankins
A longer review to come as the publishing date approaches (we're still some three months out for this one).

What I do like about THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA is that the narrator challenges the reader to double back and consider, "Do I remember that the narrator said this earlier?" or "Do I remember this aspect of the story?" Elements of foreshadowing and revelation would make THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA an excellent text to demonstrate these literary elements.

Further, when the narrator...more
Ahh. What's the word?

Not necessarily acting like a jerk, but more... something. There's a word for it...





Stuck up



Eh. I'll go with rude. Oh yes, and careless.

You know, the narrator of this book is both rude and careless. In fact, I just get the impression while I'm reading that he (yes, it does say on the back flap that it's a he) simply doesn't care about enough about his audience while he's telling the story. Like he's above them. Acting like he's do...more
i kinda liked it. it reminded me of the unfortunate events a lot because the two twins, Abigail and John, act a LOT like Violet and her brother. the dog, Cassie, is like Sunny. there are two other adult twins named Dan D. Dean and Dean D. Dean who are like count Olaf. The narrator is soo funny!! YOU ALL SHOULD READ IT!
My review of this book should be split into two parts: the story and the way the story is told.

The first part I am very excited about. The Templeton Twins, twelve-year old John and Abigail (making me think of the Adamses) are fun kids. John is a drummer and Abigail solves cryptic crosswords so they're smart and creative thinkers. They get tangled up in the schemes of another set of twins with a grudge against their father and outwit the villains in a most clever way. I really enjoyed everything...more
Ms. Yingling
Before Abigail and John Templeton are even born, their professor father was pestered by a student who is unhappy with his grade, but when news comes that the birth is imminent, the professor rushes out without giving the student any satisfaction. Years later, the family is reeling from the death of the mother. Professor Templeton is working on his Personal One-Man Helicopter, and Tickeridge-Baltock (Tick-Tock Tech) will give him more funding than his current employer. The twins are not happy to...more
Barb Middleton
The recent crop of metafictional books has left me not lovin' this technique as much as when I first encountered it in children's literature. Or perhaps, reading authors who are really good at it, reveals the lesser talents. Either way, this one goes on my hoo-rah list. I loved it like I love fresh corn on the cob (I'm making a connection with my crop statement. I'm also hungry. I'm also giving you a taste of how this book is written). Imagine a Lemony Snicket-type snarky narrator wired on 10 cu...more
This is the story of 12-year-old twins, John and Abigail Templeton and their inventor father. This is also the story of a set of adult twins named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean who feel that Mr. Templeton has stolen the idea for a Personal One-Man Helicopter from Dean (well Dean D. Dean, in this case). Confused yet? It's not as nearly as complicated as it seems but the twins (Templeton twins) are kidnapped in an attempt to force their father to hand over all of the materials for the invention of...more
Alexander W
I am currently reading Ellis Weiner's The Templeton Twins Have an Idea (view spoiler)...more
This middle grade novel is short, cheeky and easy to read. The novel has a very irreverent tone with the narrator informing us that he is clearly being put upon to write the story of the Templeton twins and it is not something he would have willingly done otherwise. The story itself is brisk and moves along at a rapid face with the conflicts being faced and resolved in quick succession. The funnest part of the novel were the end of the chapter review questions which were nothing of the sort and...more
I sometimes chat with people while reading books. It's a rare sometimes, because most of the time I prefer to focus on my book rather than talk to people. I tend to talk when I need to think something through.

In the case of THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA, I was having issues with the narrator. Now, the narrator is very funny. Hir voice is idiosyncratic, with a strong opinion on the story, and often digressing to things like meatloaf recipes rather than the main plot. Yes, it is very much like...more
This book was absolutely delightful - a must read for all fans of a good middle grade. The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is quirky and fun in a uniquely formatted book.

Jeremony Holmes's illustration and way The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is set up makes it very accessible for all readers. The book is very fun to read and the format only enhances that. Each chapter ends with silly questions which really made me engage with the book even more.

The characters are oh so quirky - they all bring some...more
Big Book Little Book
Daisy (11) for Big Book Little Book
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book really appealed to my sense of humour. After a (if I may say so) rubbish blurb and a slightly more informative front flap, I started reading. The illustrations and layout of the book are quirky and clever and the story was funny. The story starts off with the twins, Abigail and John being born. Twelve years on, their mother dies leaving them with their Dad who is a professor at a university....more
Originally published at Beth's Book Reviews.

Received for review.

I really liked the idea of this and was excited to receive it for review but the execution left much to be desired. Granted, I did receive it in e-galley form which I read on my iPad, but various unfinished artwork and such does not affect the story itself and the story was sadly lacking.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the characters, who were rather bland, or the "narrator" who was actually more than a bit annoying rather than...more
This book is just so darn cooool looking. Seriously. Find a copy on the shelf, pick it up, and flip through it. See? If you really don't want to leave your computer screen (I can't blame ya), check out some sample pages here. See? So cute! And it is all in blue ink, including the story text, which has driven me crazy in the past (Shiver, for example), but it works here. The cutesy look of it all offers a nice counterbalance to the snarky, frightening, borderline dark tone of the book. The narrat...more
I grabbed this book as a last minute choice at the library without even reading the description (daring of me, I know :D), and I'm so glad I did. This book was awesome!! Why? Two words: the narrator. I don't think I've ever read a book that had a narrator quite like him. He is snooty in the best way and injects himself so much into the book that (as other people have been suggesting) he almost feels like the main character. I lost count of the times I just had to stop and laugh at some droll lit...more
Nov 12, 2012 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one, read Lemony Snicket's series instead
Basically, I find this to be a poor imitation of Lemony Snicket's series. The author seemed like he was trying way too hard, and there really wasn't much of a story to tell. If the "narrator" had quit interfering in the story so much, the book probably would not have even been 200 pages. I know that this was meant to add some humor to the story, but it was overdone. Honestly, I found it to be incredibly annoyiing. Frankly, the only thing I took away from this story was the meatloaf recipe, which...more
Luanne Hatcher
Twelve year old twins, Abigail and John, have moved with their dad to a new town. Their recently widowed dad, Professor Elton Templeton, was an inventor and teacher. He decided to go to work at a different university. Soon after they arrived and a nanny was hired, the Templetons met Dean D. Dean, a former student from thirteen years past who was bitter about failing the class. He claimed that the Professor's Personal One-Man Helicopter was his invention. He accused the Professor of stealing his...more
Virginia Readers' Choice title for the upcoming school year. This is the 1st book in the series about 12-year-old twins John and Abigail and their professor/inventor father. After the twins' mother dies, they move to a new town with their father, who has a new job at the Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology (Tick Tock Tech). Then the twins are kidnapped by Dean D. Dean, a former student of the professor who claims that the professor's invention of the Personal One-Man Helicopter was really...more
The Styling Librarian
So, I can't stop talking about The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes - brilliant formatting, style, narrator, and the humor made this book quite entertaining. Happy to have it as one of the library new book treasures. Cannot wait to promote it!
I found the narrator, who speaks directly to the reader to be utterly annoying. Maybe kids would find the sarcasm and stupid questions at the end of each chapter funny, but I didn't. I was so tempted to take the book back to the library without finishing it, something I rarely do.
The Templeton Twins are said to be exceptional and clever, but I came away from this book with very little understanding of them. The narrator- the irritating, unduly combative, and very rude narrator- became the only character I could recall. That same narrator kept me from enjoying this book. I initially thought he/she would be a Lemony Snicket-esque personality, giving little lessons, defining words, etc. It soon became clear that insults, impatience, and put-downs were more this narrator's s...more
Kristin Rosenberg
John and Abigail are twins. And they do not want to write this book. They would prefer it if they didn't have to write this book. If you could close this book and leave them alone, you would be doing them a big favor. But you're not going to do that, are you? You're going to keep reading. Well fine then. I guess you'll get a story.

Filled with snark and inter-narrator banter, this book is fun to read. The text is expressively written, and the reader is challenged to distinguish the facts from th...more
3.5 I think - a fun adventure with a snarky narrator, but it didn't feel like it brought anything new to that particular style of writing.
Mar 27, 2014 Sandy added it
The story telling is very similar to the Lemony Snicket books, in that the narrator seems unrelated and tells the story as if he were speaking to the reader and interjects his own comments frequently. Some of these are amusing, but they are a bit overused imo. John and Abigail, fraternal twins, are smart and somewhat unusual in their hobbies. After their mother dies, their father unexpectedly moves them when he takes a job at a new school. While there, a student the professor (father) flunked st...more
This was a really fun book to read out loud with the girls. There is a lot of sarcasm and direct communication with the reader, and it was great to watch my kids go from bewilderment to affronted to delighted. There were sections that maybe asked for too much visualization for little kids, and the kidnapping scene was scary for Iris, but I think they liked it quite a bit. I really liked that the book explained, within the narrative, ever complex word or idea it introduced, and in a clever way th...more
On the plus side, I like anything that promotes cryptic crossword puzzles (although the one chapter title that was also a clue was very badly constructed). The book seemed to be going for Lemony Snicket level absurdity while spoofing on the role of the narrator and on post-chapter quizzes, but the silliness was a bit overdone and got a little annoying after a while. There were also some odd plot holes (spoiler) (view spoiler)...more
Evelyn Ink
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is a fresh and hilariously told, mini-adventure about two splendidly clever twins, Abigail and John, who have to use their brains and courage to get themselves and their father out of trouble. It also includes a ridiculous dog and an obnoxious villain, an obnoxious nanny, and an obnoxious narrator. You may come to like the obnoxious narrator (despite, or because of, his his terrible writing and his terribly funny “review questions”) best of all.
The only downside...more
I loved the sassy Narrator. He added a whole new level of snarky fun.
Chris Go
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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