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|Home sweet motel|
Author: Grabenstein, Chris
[Bk. 1] P.T. and his friend Gloria must solve a mystery at the world's wackiest motel: The Wonderland.
Welcome To Wonderland, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 185865
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 69821
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/16)
School Library Journal (08/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old P.T. Wilkie narrates this series starter. He lives at the Wonderland Motel in St. Pete's Beach, FL. His grandfather, Walt, founded the hotel in 1970 and did well until another Walt opened Disney World a year later. The Wilkies have been struggling to remain open ever since. P.T. always looks on the bright side. He doesn't push his single mom about who his dad is, he's close to his grandfather, and he thinks motel living, with its free ice cream and housekeeping, is just great. He's also an irrepressible storyteller, much to the chagrin of his neighbor and history teacher, Mr. Frumpkes. Unfortunately, his idyllic life is about to change in a month's time, thanks to a balloon loan coming due. His mom and grandpa need to come up with $100,000. The only way to do that is to sell the Wonderland to a sleazy developer. P.T. joins forces with Gloria Ortiz, a guest who happens to be a business whiz. As the two listen to Mr. Wilkie's tales about the early days of the Wonderland, they come up with a series of money-making ideas to save it. Complicating matters are a pair of elderly brothers who are not what they appear to be. This is classic Grabenstein—there are lots of sly asides and a tongue-in-cheek tone; a spirited, wise-guy hero in P.T.; a fast pace that edges a bit over-the-top; a vividly kitschy setting; and cartoon-style black-and-white illustrations throughout. The mystery should satisfy Grabenstein's "Mr. Lemoncello" followers, and the humor and visuals will appeal to fans of his collaborations with James Patterson. VERDICT This new series should be a hit among a variety of readers.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 08/01/2016 It doesn’t look good for the Wonderland, an aging Florida motel with plenty of vacancies, some decrepit amusement-park statues, and a $100,000 bank loan coming due in 30 days. The foreclosure news jolts 11-year-old P. T. After all, his grandfather opened the motel way back in 1970. His single mother manages it now, and it’s not just their workplace; it’s their home. Better known for telling tall tales than for getting things done, P. T. teams up with Grandpa and Gloria, a financial whiz kid, to carry out several get-rich-quick schemes to save the Wonderland. In the end, the key to solvency turns out to be an even more unlikely outwit-the-stupid-crooks-and-collect-the-reward subplot. This appealing chapter book offers an original setting, a mystery, and some colorful characters. Illustrated with cartoon-style black-and-white illustrations, complete with speech balloons, P. T.’s very readable first-person narrative has a comic tone reminiscent of Jacky Ha-Ha (2016), which Grabenstein cowrote with James Patterson. More adventures and fun are sure to follow in the Wonderland series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Sharing spotlights with Patterson has paid off for Grabenstein: a month-by-month promo plan hitting everything from trade shows to summer camps will keep this in the spotlight. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.