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The Smile Ambassadors: A Novel For All Humans (The Smile Adventures Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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Zack and Mack are rare, red-eared slider turtle with two heads. At birth, they were about the size of a quarter and are now about the size of a saucer. Zack and Mack are the same age as their seven-year old owner, Constance, and they are affectionately nicknamed “the boys.” Zack, Mack and Constance have grown up together and Constance swears she understands what the boys are thinking.
An adventure begins as Zack and Mack escape, sneaking out the door, across the street and into the creek. Constance and her parents anxiously search the house and neighborhood for their treasured pet. An unpredictable chain of events begins when the family contacts the local newspaper and TV station.
Suddenly, everyone in town is looking for Zack and Mack. A media event begins to whirl as people across the state and country follow the story. An international following quickly develops as well; the story of the lost turtle that tugs at everyone’s hearts. There is something charming about the turtle with two heads that appears to be smiling. People just feel like smiling when they look at Zack and Mack’s picture. Even the President of the United States wants Zack and Mack found so that he can make them “smile ambassadors.”
Zack and Mack are unaware of the unfolding drama. They are enjoying their adventure in the creek, eating worms and basking in the sun. Even the close encounters with predators are exciting in their own way, since they have always lived in a protected environment. After leaving the creek, the boys explore the local fair. The sideshow owner finds them and enters them into a turtle race. How were the boys to know that this would be the first of many races for them?
Zack and Mack re reunited with their family when Constance spots them in the turtle race. Following a surprising chain of events, the President names Zack and Mack the “Smile Ambassadors” for the United States. Zack and Mack will travel around the world bringing smiles to everyone who sees the turtle with two heads. Maybe a smile for the boys will be a smile for the United States.
So the journey begins for Zack and Mack and their family as they go on a yearlong international tour. Along the way, Constance and the boys make many new friends. Finally, the boys return home for an international turtle race with many of their new friends. Who will win? Can friendships withstand the thrill of competition? Is it possible for turtles to communicate or even strategize? Do Zack and Mack have special powers? Read the book to find out!
Overall, I enjoyed this book. The narrative alternates between Constance’s perspective and the turtle’s perspective; giving a charming insight into what a turtle may be thinking. While the story line is a bit farfetched, it is a fun family adventure that should appeal to young readers. It is refreshing to read a book where everything is wrapped up in a happy ending with a moral-to-the-story thrown in.
The story of Zack and Mack will continue in a second book titled The Smile Thief.
The story starts out with Zack and Mack disappearing. The young girl, Constance, searches all over town for her beloved pet, but cannot find them. Meanwhile, Zack and Mack are off on an adventure--learning about the strange new world outside of their tank. They had to learn how to find food, and how to escape turtle poachers, cats, and crowds of skittish people (who confuse them with a monster). During the family's search, the local media gets involved with missing two-headed turtle story. This creates interest in them amongst the townspeople.
As the story progresses, we learn about a big turtle race, meet new and exciting friends, and learn how Zack and Mack became "The Smile Ambassadors. Overall this is a family-friendly, feel-good story. Mr. Reid does a wonderful job brining us into his characters' world with humor and vivid descriptions.