|Occasionally happy family|
Author: Burke, Cliff
There are zero reasons for Theo Ripley to look forward to his family vacation. It doesn't help that this will be the first vacation they're taking since Mom passed away. Once there, the family contends with 110 degree days, wild bears, and an annoying amateur ornithologist and his awful teenage vlogger son. Then, Theo's dad hits him with a whopper of a surprise: the whole trip is just a trick to introduce his secret new girlfriend.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 512405
School Library Journal (05/28/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/28/2021 Gr 3–6—Theo is glad that it is his summer vacation. He thinks about all the fun he will have with his friends, playing video games or going to robotics camp. However, those plans are not in the cards for Theo. He has been roped into going with his dad and older sister to Big Bend National Park, the least popular of all the national parks. While this is a little better than the family's usual vacation of visiting their grandmother, it's still a lot of hiking in the woods with bugs and high temperatures. Theo's dad, a typical high school science teacher, loves nature and is a bit too eager for the trip—he has also not planned all that well. Luckily, Laura excels at planning and has brought better snacks, found more amusing activities, and has even upgraded their overnight stays. Since their mother's death from cancer a few years ago, Laura's taken on the role of family organizer. Theo isn't thrilled about the idea of the long drive with limited electronics time, or doing any of that outdoor camping stuff, but those things end up being the least of his worries. Theo goes from one unpleasant situation to another (including sweltering heat, his dad's new hiker "friends," and a close encounter with wildlife) until he finally discovers that his dad's big secret is a woman he's been seeing and he wants them to meet. This is a good, realistic, and a funny book about a family in transition. There are plenty of funny moments, and the scenes with Lucrecia hit just the right note. VERDICT Sure to be a popular title, especially with fans of humor, road trip adventures, and James Patterson's books.—Amy Caldera, Dripping Springs M.S., TX - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.