I really did not think this was a bad book. It has a lot of humor and the plot is pretty funny. The reason I did not rate it fourstar is because of the thing about boyfriends and girlfriends. I mean come on they are only 13 they should not be dating at all! And besides that the writing is more for younger kids. But otherwise it was a pretty good book.
Middle grade readers will love this book. It should appeal to both boys and girls because it is a basic adventure book. Its primary theme is new kid on the block meets time travelers from the future. Make that bumbling time travelers on a school assignment. There are plenty of laughs to go around--good clean non-crude humor.
Meet Herby and Tuna, traveling from the future to invisibly observe their target historical figure for a school assignment. Since their arrival, everything seems to go wrong for them from hitting the dinosaur age to crash landing in the Pacific Ocean, to major malfunctions of their equipment. Their goal: Malibu, California. Their target: Thelma Jean Finkelstein, otherwise known as TJ to her family and friends back in Missouri. But here in California? That's another matter entirely. And the piano that escaped the movers, rolled across the yard scooping up TJ in its path, crashing through the neighbor's fence making a big splash in their swimming pool in front of a dozen or so 13-year-old classmates, including TJ's new neighbor Chad Steel, was TJ's introduction into the new school year.
Could it get any worse than that? It could and it did, no thanks to Herby and Tuna who attempted to "help" TJ through her first days at school. With that "help" came alienation of nearly the rest of her classmates, especially those who prostrated themselves before Hesper Breakahart; she was the star in her own TV series. Somehow, in Physical Education class (TJ thought it would be better termed Physical Embarrassment), a ball hit Hesper square in the nose. Everyone blamed TJ while Hesper was dramatically wheeled out by paramedics and taken to the hospital. How could it get any worse than that? It could and it did. But you'll have to read the book to discover what happens next.
Besides the side-splitting humor in this short book, there are family dynamics to explore (TJ's mom died of cancer recently) and social dynamics to learn from. This book, like the many others written by this author is not just a fluff piece. There are valuable lessons taught within the humorous events, just enough to prompt young readers to think. Parents will love this. Books like this were something I searched for when my children were the age this book is written for.
If you are looking for a hilarious, fast-paced adventure for your children to read, this is one I highly recommend.
I am reading and reviewing this book for the Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. summer reading program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
I decided to check out the e-book version of this series for my kiddos before purchasing paperback versions... and I loved them! I was laughing out loud and totally impressed with the wittiness of the series (not something I've seen much in this age group). I'm not sure about the reviewer who thought this book wouldn't appeal to middle schoolers---I'm a widely-read 35 year old and I got some GREAT entertainment value out of this book! The main character is cute, has a crush like any other middle schooler, faces problems like other kids her age (and then some--I mean who hangs out with time travelers?!), and she's always thinking and saying hilarious and witty things that make me giggle. The boy characters in this book are a couple of silly nuts. I loved the book from the start and knew I had to purchase the entire paperback series for my kids. I really, really like that this book is so entertaining and I can't wait to read the rest of the series... not to mention give them to my kids!
TJ has just moved to California and is trying to get adjusted to her surroundings and new school which is easier said then done. Two time travelers have arrived and won't leave her alone. They are trying to help her learn to look past people's outward appearance but their help isn't always appreciated.