Sam, Fred, and Joe--the Time Warp Trio--find themselves face-to-beak with a giant, 266-pound chicken ... who, unfortunately, looks hungry. As the chicken begins to chase them, the boys realize with horror that they are smack-dab in the middle of Daniel Pinkwater's The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
! How did they get there? Fred accidentally stuck the school's summer reading list between the pages of "The Book"--a time-warping, green-mist-expelling book that triggers time travel in all of Jon Scieszka's well-loved Time Warp Trio action-adventures.
In Summer Reading Is Killing Me!, illustrated by innovative artist Lane Smith, the boys find themselves trapped in a dreadfully skewed literary world where Joe, the narrator, says "I saw Homer Price being carried by the Headless Horseman. Dracula was dragging Winnie the Pooh in a headlock. Mr. Twit was breaking Harold's Purple Crayon." It becomes the boys' charge to find "The Book" and yank the summer reading list out of it before children's literature is destroyed forever as the "bad" characters knock off the "good" characters and take over the stories. The literary references accelerate to a breakneck pace: "We stepped over a very hungry caterpillar eating his way through a dictionary.... We made our way through a crowd of Robinson Crusoe, a blue moose, Julie with some wolves, a snowman, a plain and tall lady named Sarah, a kid with a hatchet, and a very confused-looking Robin Hood helping Eeyore reattach his tail." Whether or not young readers register every literary allusion is inconsequential--Summer Reading Is Killing Me! is a rollicking, sarcastic, ultraweird, suspenseful adventure that kids will like regardless. And for teachers, parents, and librarians who are deeply enmeshed in kid-erature--it's purely delicious. (Ages 8 and older) --Karin Snelson
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5?The Time Warp Trio is back. This time, the mayhem begins when Fred puts their school's summer reading list in The Book, the mysterious tome that has magically transported the boys to the past and the future in previous escapades. This causes Fred, Sam, and Joe to encounter the Hoboken Chicken, George and Martha, Peter Rabbit, Curious George, Frog and Toad, and a host of other children's book characters. It seems that the bad characters?the Twits, Long John Silver, the Wild Things, etc., all led by a maniacal Teddy Bear?have decided to do away with the good ones. The boys initially manage to convince the villains that they, too, are villains from an action-adventure series (whose author "starts with an s...maybe...?"), but they are soon found out. It takes a girl (Laura Ingalls? Anne of Green Gables? one of the Little Women??they can't tell since they haven't read them!) to help them find The Book so that they can put an end to the shenanigans. Nonstop action and lots of laughs prevail throughout as the friends try to find their way out of their current predicament. Smith's black-and-white illustrations are filled with his traditional brand of zany humor. The literary references will delight teachers and librarians, and perhaps inspire readers to learn more about those characters (good or bad) unfamiliar to them.Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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