Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let’s say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins-adults-named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, I said kidnapped. Wouldn’t it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Luckily for you, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn’t? )
This middle grade novel is short, cheeky and easy to read. The novel has a very cheeky tone with the narrator informing us that he is clearly being put upon to write the story of the Templeton twins and it is not something he would have willingly done otherwise. The story itself is brisk and moves along at a rapid face with the conflicts being faced and resolved in quick succession. The funnest part of the novel were the end of the chapter review questions which were nothing of the sort and instead were free reign for the narrator to showcase his own wit.
I did feel that there was too much narrator interference in the novel – to its detriment. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters as I usually do because the narrator refused to let me and therefore I couldn’t really get behind any of the characters because they ended up being caricatures drawn up by the narrator and not characters.
However, the novel is short, amusing and has an amazing meatloaf recipe that I’d love to try out. I would comment on the art but they were pretty raw, just sketches really, in the e-arc form so I don’t think I’ve seen enough of it to form a conclusive opinion of them.
The novel is refreshingly innovative and should appeal to middle grade kids.