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|Worst class trip ever|
Author: Barry, Dave
When the eighth grade civics class of Miami's Culver Middle School goes on a trip to Washington, D.C., Wyatt Palmer finds himself in deep trouble before the plane even lands because his best friend, Matt, has decided the men sitting behind them are terrorists and it is up to the boys to stop them.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 173714
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 65916
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/15)
School Library Journal (05/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2015 On a trip to Washington, D.C., four eighth-graders get tangled up in a plot to bomb the White House . . . or maybe not. One thing nerdy Wyatt does know: the two men from “Gadakistan” who sat behind him on the plane will stop at nothing—including kidnapping—to get back the mysterious electronic device Wyatt’s impulsive buddy Matt snatched from them. OK, one other thing—how lucky is he that dazzling classmate Suzana steps away from the “Hot Girl Clot” to provide the brains, bankroll, and even the brawn for what becomes a frantic round of chases, attacks, rescues, narrow escapes, and desperate ploys? Laced with Barry’s trademark zingers (pandas are “like the Kardashians of zoo animals” because they “never actually do anything except eat and poop”), the escapade culminates in a climactic melee featuring a snake, a fork, a really big kite, the president of the U.S., and video footage that boosts Wyatt’s Twitter account from 2 followers to 4.7 million. Readers can only hope their own class trips turn this exhilarating. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Barry (along with Ridley Pearson) has built cred with kids thanks to the Peter and the Starcatchers series. Adults know him, too, so expect demand thanks to name recognition and plenty of buzz. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2015 Gr 5–7—On a class trip to Washington, DC, eighth grader Wyatt Palmer and his best friend Matt believe that they have uncovered a terrorist plot. The men seated behind them in the airplane are oddly protective of their luggage and spend their time during the flight studying aerial photos of the White House. During a scuffle with these passengers, Matt removes an odd device from one man's backpack. This event gets Matt and Wyatt into trouble with their teacher, not to mention a stern lecture from the Federal Air Marshal, but they figure it will be worth it if they have foiled a terrorist plot. Unfortunately, Wyatt and Matt have not seen the last of those two men. For the rest of their trip, Wyatt, Matt, and a few more of their classmates (including Wyatt's crush Suzana) avoid bad guys, sneak away from the rest of their class, and conceal the whole situation from their chaperones. If everything goes well, Wyatt can save the country and get the girl—but when has anything on this trip gone well for Wyatt? Barry's trademark humor shines in this tale of a field trip gone hilariously wrong. While Wyatt's adventures occasionally push the boundaries of credulity, his escapades are so funny that readers are likely to be forgiving. VERDICT With its wacky humor and mildly suspenseful scenarios, this appealing book will be a good fit for most libraries.—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2015 Miami native Wyatt Palmer is used to crazy things that only happen in Miami, like when his dad goes out to get the morning paper in a pair of holey boxer shorts and ends up on the evening news because he got chased by an alligator in their yard. However, he isn’t ready for the wild adventure his eighth-grade class trip to Washington, DC, turns out to be when his idiot best friend, Matt, convinces him that the two men sitting behind them on the plane are terrorists with designs on the Capitol. To Matt’s credit, the device he steals from the guys’ backpack is in fact a military-grade radar jammer, and they do have a plot that Matt’s theft threatens to foil, resulting in them kidnapping Matt in order to get the device back. Fortunately, Wyatt’s crush, Suzana, is both fearless and fond of intrigue, and between her and a few trusty friends, hair-raising adventure ensues and the day is saved, middle-school style. Barry’s droll wit, shining through Wyatt’s narration, plays exceptionally well for a preteen audience, with explicit ironies and eyerolling observations about Wyatt’s mercurial Cuban mother, the mortifications of having an idiot best friend, and the wistful longings of having an unrequited crush on a popular girl. The outrageous plotting is the real draw here, though; this is a savvy integration of real-world anxieties with the absurdest of absurd hero fantasies, overlaid with a touch of hey-it-could-happen if, you know, you were in a crazy action movie. While the story initially plays on stereotypes of people who come from countries that end in -stan, it upends those stereotypes in ways both clever and hilarious. This one will definitely have action-adventure-obsessed kids looking away from their screens. KC - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.