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Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe (Volume 2) Paperback – April 12, 2012
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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About the Author
Nathan Bransford is the author of How to Write a Novel, Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow, Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe and Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp. He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. and now works in finance. He lives in Brooklyn.
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I know, children's stories have most of those ingredients in the recipe of plotting relevancy and entertainment, but Jacob's chronicle is out in the Universe not just on planet Earth.
In this second book of the Wonderbar trilogy, Jacob, Sara and Dexter continue their adventures in space, traveling in space ships that talk and have emotions. Running for the position of President is serious business and at the beginning Jacob said to his friends, "No more pranks. No more tricks, no more practical jokes, no more breaking rules." Little to his knowledge, none of that applied to his opponent for the Presidency, none of that applied to less ethical peoples in the Universe. Jacob and friends were in for a fabulous, uneven, crazy, devilish race...but not for the Presidency...for survival. Oh yeah, look forward to the introduction to the space monkeys.
I'm purchasing Jacob Wonderbar's trilogy for myself. One time long ago when my son was two years old I had written a few short stories titled Green & Purple Monsters. They were tales depicting how ugly judgmental attitudes would lead the most ethical and moral child astray. I didn't publish them because they were too personal.
I'm Ben Campbell, the author of seven urban adventure novels. They are available for preview and purchase as amazon Kindle and paperback editions.
Some of the lines are laugh out loud funny. My favorite is: "We don't negotiate with space monkeys". Ha!
The story takes some surprising twists and turns, and in the meantime the characters learn alot about themselves and grow closer together. As with the first book, there are some underlying themes about knowing yourself, gaining courage and loyalty to friends. The romance is also slowly unfolding through the trilogy, which is fun.
The satire of the election process is quite clever, and there are send-ups of the media that I thought were dead on point. As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I think kids will be hooked. Kudos to the author! Can't wait for the third book.
My favorite parts with the campaign challenge on the planet where they had to tell the truth, and Mick's clever ways of skirting the truth. The author did a great job of satirizing political speech in that section. I also liked it when Jacob rediscovered his true self in the corndog-eating contest.
The end is a cliff-hanger, and this book fits squarely as the middle story in a trilogy. I am curious to see what profound revelations await in the third installment.
So, let me kind of break down my review into two parts.
PART ONE - The Campaign
I was laughing so much for so many of Bransford's insights into politics, politicians, media and voters. He's able to poke fun without being offensive, and while I think a lot of the political humor will tickle an adult's funny bone more than a kid's, I do think it would offer a delightful introduction to the world of politics, etc., and a jumping off point to get kids to learn the ins and outs, the goods and bads, of politics, government and campaigns. So, for these parts I was delighted by the story!
PART TWO - The story and characters
There was nothing wrong with the story, and nothing wrong with the characters. But overall I felt that things didn't progress as much as I'd like. The campaign plot came and went but I didn't really feel it left our main cast of characters any different because of it. And, a testament to the first book, I just wanted more. More insight with the characters, more of their thoughts and feelings, and more reasons to their actions. I remember thinking that the first book could have been a little longer, that I wouldn't have minded a little more to each chapter, but I understood it's a middle-grade book and that the style was meant to clip along at a quick pace. But, I feel that the same pace was attempted here but was just *too* clipped. I was confused sometimes as to which character had learned what and why they'd moved from place to place. So, double-edged-sword: I wanted more.
All this said, I do think Bransford has a great writing style and I will most definitely be getting the THIRD book in this series, "Jacob Wonderbar and the Intersellar Time Warp" when it's released.