Finished: Dec. 11, 2011
First Published: Aug. 23, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, humour
This story starts with a train rushing through the night.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.
Reason for Reading: I read a book like this a long time ago when the great mystery writers got together, including Agatha Christie, and did the same thing. This sounded like it would be a lot of fun.
Sixteen different top children's authors played a game where they each wrote the next chapter of an ongoing middle grade adventure story. The book is also illustrated in the same way by five different illustrators. With 27 chapters this has some of our authors writing two chapters while others only write once. John Scieszka starts things off with a wild premise giving the book a plot and many possible scenarios that may possibly happen. Each author was to read the book written so far when they received it and add on the next chapter. It is hilarious seeing how the authors manage to bring the elements together, while using their own unique writing styles. This makes for an adventure-filled plot and each chapter ends in either a cliffhanger or an unknown moment. It had the feeling of one of those old serials they used to play before the main movie back in the old b/w days. Never a dull moment as the authors played with elements that other authors started and managed to keep running jokes going.
The story involves twins Joe and Nancy who have been raised at the circus since infants. On there 11th birthday they discover their parents are alive but trapped in another dimension and they must rescue them by finding the scattered pieces of a robot and reassembling it so it can open the door to said dimension. All this must happen before weird alien creatures from *another* dimension take over the bodies and control of Joe and Nancy's world. An exciting, non-stop action, funny story with a sci-fi adventure theme and some fantasy thrown in for good measure. A really fun ride!