Eighth grader Toby Harbinger and his friends Tamara and Micah are not looking forward to the Hubble Middle School’s annual science fair. Not that they...moreEighth grader Toby Harbinger and his friends Tamara and Micah are not looking forward to the Hubble Middle School’s annual science fair. Not that they don’t have great ideas for it. For example, Micah has come up with a way to levitate his frog with magnets. The problem is the underachieving rich kids who win every year with projects made by their overachieving parents. This year will be no exception…
A mysterious person working at Hubble decides to help the rich kids by selling top secret plans for projects; projects which will do more than win the science fair; projects which will bring the United States to its knees…
As Toby and his friends slowly uncover this international plot, they find themselves in more and more trouble— first with the school, then with the police, and finally the government. To make matters worse, Toby is constantly being harassed by two men, D. Arthur Vaderian and the Wookiee, who are out to steal Toby’s father’s extensive Star Wars memorabilia collection.
If this is not enough craziness, how about a high speed chase in the Weinermobile, terrorists getting addicted to the Home Shopping Network, and a climatic light saber showdown between Vaderian and Toby’s father (in a too-small Jedi outfit)?
If you are looking for a thrilling mystery mixed with downright insanity, read Science Fair , by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.(less)
This is a very funny and clever book! I love the puns and word play as Milo, Tock the Watch Dog, and the Humbug go on a quest to bring Rhyme and Reaso...moreThis is a very funny and clever book! I love the puns and word play as Milo, Tock the Watch Dog, and the Humbug go on a quest to bring Rhyme and Reason from exile and to restore peace and tranquility to a troubled land.(less)
**spoiler alert** “It was all my idea. The stupid ones usually are…I called the idea ‘time shaving,’ which probably isn’t what you think it is…Me, I w...more**spoiler alert** “It was all my idea. The stupid ones usually are…I called the idea ‘time shaving,’ which probably isn’t what you think it is…Me, I was just trying to help a friend. I never meant for it to blow up like a giant Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon that gets taken away by the wind. Which, by the way, is exactly how the whole thing began” (3-4).
Antsy Bonano has a knack for making strange friends. Last year, it was Calvin Schwa, who literally blended into his surroundings no matter how outrageous his behavior was. Now, as a result of a Thanksgiving Day Parade mishap, Antsy gets to know the dark and moody Gunnar Ümlaut, who tells him that he has only six months to live. Gunnar is obsessed with the topic of death, even going so far as to carve his own tombstone and browse a coffin catalog. In fact, he seems to enjoy thinking about death, which Antsy finds disturbing. To help Gunnar take his mind off his fate, Antsy comes up with a plan:
“[O]n a whim, I reached into my backpack, pulled out a notebook and pen, and began writing something. ‘What are you doing?’ ‘You’ll see.’ When I was done, I tore the page out of the notebook, held it up, and read it aloud. ‘I hereby give one month of my life to Gunnar Ümlaut. Signed, Anthony Bonano’” (36).
Word gets out about Antsy’s “Time Contract” and soon, everyone at school wants to donate time to Gunnar, even the principal! Proclaimed the “Master of Time,” Antsy struggles to keep his idea from spiraling out of control. On top of that, Antsy finds himself dating “a Swedish goddess,” and appearing on the front page of the newspaper, pouring a pitcher of water over the head of…well, you’ll find out! Read Antsy Does Time, by Neal Shusterman, the sequel to the award-winning book The Schwa Was Here.(less)
Being a history nerd, particularly when it comes to the Civil War era, I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of the "Oberlin-Wellington Rescue" u...moreBeing a history nerd, particularly when it comes to the Civil War era, I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of the "Oberlin-Wellington Rescue" until I read this book. I found the story to be inspiring and the illustations fantastic!
This is a story about a town (Oberlin, OH to be exact) who collectively stood up against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, believing that there was a "higher law" that trumped it.
Escaped slave John Price had been living in Oberlin for two years when a slave hunter comes calling and captures him. The response by the people of Oberlin is incredible. But you'll have to read the book to find out what happens. No spoilers here!(less)
In this ageless classic, Mark Twain proves that, no matter what time period one comes from, boys will always be boys. Based on the places and people o...moreIn this ageless classic, Mark Twain proves that, no matter what time period one comes from, boys will always be boys. Based on the places and people of his own childhood (“Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred,” claimed the author), Twain spins a tale about life through the eyes of a trouble-making, imaginative, cunning boy.
Most young boys tend to get into mischief at one time or another, and Tom Sawyer is no exception. “He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though—and loathed him.” Ditching school to play Robin Hood in the forest, tricking his friends into doing his chores, swinging dead cats in a graveyard (to cure warts), and sneaking off with Huckleberry Finn to look for buried treasure are just some of the things that fill Tom’s days. In addition to his usual boyish antics, Tom also finds time to witness a midnight murder, get lost in a cave, kick-start his career as a pirate, and even to fall in love. Tom’s lifestyle is enough to make any parent’s hair turn gray. Still, as his Aunt Polly would say “[H]e warn’t bad, so to say-only mischeevous. Only just giddy, and harum-scarum…he was the best-hearted boy that ever was.”(less)