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The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One Hardcover – August 15, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Templeton Twins Series

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Editorial Reviews


"This entertaining series will win over word lovers, mystery and puzzle solvers, fans of gadgets and those who previously had not thought of themselves as readers" - Shelf Awareness, starred review

"A great book for kids who love puzzles and humor. Weiner's narrators steal the show with their use of sarcasm and wit." - Halley Pucker, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"A hilarious and clever adventure " - Education.com

"A page-turning and funny tale." -Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review

"A rip roaring fun read that is a must share." - Shannon Messenger/Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

"An entertaining start to a new series." - School Library Journal

"An irresistible start to a planned series" - Common Sense Media

"Anyone with a sly sense of humor is sure to love this book and cry out for "More, please!" " - Reading Today

"If you've got smart (or maybe smart-mouthed) kids, they'll get a kick out of The Templeton Twins" - Wired.com's GeekDads

"Illustrations.play up the story's humor as well as highlighting the twins' ingenuity." - The Horn Book

"Readers... will welcome this and the duo's future exploits." - Booklist

"The most prominent character is the self-satisfied and aggressively intrusive Narrator, whose banter with readers instantly sets a comedic, sarcastic tone" - Publishers Weekly

"The narrator plays as big a role (or bigger) as any of the characters, constantly wisecracking, setting up scenes and occasionally berating the reader." - SFGate.com

"The narrator's antics are one of the book's great charms" - Time Out Chicago Kids, Best New Kit Lit Series of 2012

"The scene-hogging narrator steals the show in this clever series opener." - Kirkus Reviews

"This book a) is extraordinarily snarky, b) has glorious illustrations, c) is sure to be a hit, d) all of the above?" - NerdyBookClub.com

"This book is for those students who enjoy a little sarcasm with their humor." - Library Media Connection

About the Author

Ellis Weiner is a contributor to the New Yorker and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. He is also the author of several books, including Yiddish with Dick and Jane, which he co-authored with his wife. He lives in southern California.

Jeremy Holmes is the creative mind behind Mutt Ink, a graphic design studio. His first book, There Was an Old Lady (also published by Chronicle), was awarded BolognaRazzi's Opera Prima award at the 2010 Bologna Book Fair. He lives in Pennsylvania.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Series: Templeton Twins (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811866793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811866798
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Biblioholic Beth TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Templeton Twins are your normal, average kids - with a professor for a father, a mother who died, a new dog...and a kidnapper. Actually, not one kidnapper, but two. And to get away, they will need their hobbies, their dog - and "an idea".

I enjoyed the book, for the most part. The story is told by a Narrator who breaks into the story on a regular basis for commentary of his/her own. It's fun, in a smart-alecky sort of way, though it can also be somewhat distracting as well. Breaking the flow of the reader, particularly younger readers, can be a risky move. Whether kids will appreciate it or not will depend on the individual reader. The Narrator did have quite the personality, and so that helped.

The chapters are fairly short - this is not War & Peace, that's for sure. Lots of diagrams and drawings, and even a recipe for meatloaf (it does tie in with the story). The story moves at a fairly fast pace, and while there is a definite resolution, it also leaves an opening for further books. I don't know that the book captured my interest enough to be anxious about any sequels, but again - depending on the individual reader, kids can be very loyal to a series that they enjoy. As a parent and a teacher, I did appreciate the language-based definitions and descriptions that were woven into the story. Any time you can help a child learn while they are enjoying a story is a bonus.

The age range for a stand-alone reader is probably from higher second grade to lower sixth grade. It's definitely not in the YA category - this is for the readers that fall between children's books and the YA section. This would also be a good read for those who have a hard time finishing longer books.

The Templeton Twins are certainly worth checking out.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was a kid, I loved mystery stories. I loved solving puzzles, figuring things out. When I was the parent of a young reader, my son loved the same kind of book.Both of us would recommend this highly, to our elementary school selves.

The characters are quirky and funny. The narrator is quirky and funny. The twins are smart, well-developed leads, who defy gender stereotypes without being preachy about it. The threat posed by the bad guys is real enough to push the plot forward, but not so scary that it distracts from the jokes.

Can't wait for the next one.
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Format: Hardcover
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is the first in a new series aimed at readers age 9 to 12 that combines mystery, wordplay, humor and adventure. Written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes, The Templeton Twins is told from the point of view of a narrator, a somewhat sarcastic figure who poses funny review questions at the end of each chapter.

The story follows Abigail and John Templeton, fraternal twins whose mother has recently died after a long illness. They live on a university campus with their father, who is an inventor and college professor.

When the professor moves the family to a new university where he hopes to start fresh, the story really gets going. A former student with a grudge, who happens to be a twin as well, wants credit for one of the professor's inventions. He'll go to great lengths to make sure that happens, even if that means kidnapping the twins.

Young readers will like the wordplay, the puzzles that Abigail enjoys, and the narrator's comments about both readers and characters. Illustrations play up the inventive side of things and keep readers engaged as they scour the pictures for clues about the action to come.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Format: Hardcover
Overall, as a book, I enjoyed reading The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One. It reminded me of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The writing style was similar, and the interruptions by the narrator were alike. But, because I found the Snicket series as being fantastic reads, I had high expectations for this book. The story itself was well-written and appeals completely to a middle-school aged audience. My major criticism is the narrator's role. I enjoyed the funny intermissions provided by the narrator, but I feel that most of the story consisted of the narrator preparing the reader for what will happen next. I know that when I was at this age-range, I was able to read and infer what would happen next, without someone else telling me what will happen. Therefore, I think the narrator's participation in the story should be a bit more limited.
I loved the random bits and pieces the book had to offer though, including the humorous "Questions for Review" and the recipe for meatloaf. These pieces helped the book in it's individuality--for instance, I know that I'll remember this book in a year by remembering the recipe and the random inventions the professor created.
I am though, looking forward to the next book--this book left a reader hanging, but not in a way that the reader is upset about it's abrupt stop, but rather in the way that the reader is excited for the next book and for the new adventures that it will hold.
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