Posted by Venus on Monday, July 6, 2015
Labels: intermediate book review
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Wyatt Palmer is on a class trip to Washington, D.C., where things begin to go wrong almost immediately when he and his best friend Matt suspect two of their fellow air travelers are carrying a bomb. After Matt managed to swipe something that looks like a detonator, the kids become more and more convinced that the two guys from the plane are terrorists intent on blowing up the White House. As the kids get deeper and deeper into the mess, they slowly drag more and more people into the plot, one that promises at the very least, to be exciting.
I love Dave Barry. And I hated this book. Writing wise, it isn't bad and the characters were interesting and as annoying as Barry probably wanted them. The problem lies in the plot itself. In this post-9/11 era, the grown-ups in this story treat possible terrorist threats far too flippantly, as do the kids. This story falls into the rather typical children's book trope where the kids don't or won't talk to the grown ups in charge simply because "they will never believe us". Now, I know there are some adults who may ignore kids and their flights of fancy, but most wouldn't ignore two eleven-year olds, and definitely not after one is kidnapped. Seriously, one of the children is kidnapped and they don't tell the adults because the kidnappers told them not to. Because of this, I simply couldn't get into the story.
There was the additional juvenile fart jokes, which are popular with the target audience, but made the characters seem more like third graders rather than middle-schoolers. To be sure, there was plenty of improbable action, but nothing worse than a Fast and Furious movie so I believe there is an audience that will love this book, and that audience is definitely not me.