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Author: Eliopoulos, Chris
A pair of different-as-can-be twin brothers accidentally bring their favorite video game to life, and must now find a way to work together to defeat it.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.30
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 190698
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 76838
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/17)
School Library Journal (07/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2017 According to Jeremy, his life is rather “stinkish,” what with mean parents, boring school, and a too-perfect identical twin. Even when Jeremy finds a wish-granting ring in a box of cereal, gives himself the powers of his favorite video game character, Cosmic Commando, and uses them to face down the school bully, things don’t lighten up much. It turns out this is because Jeremy is a selfish jerk. Inadvertently having wished the full video game world into existence, along with all its enemies and dangers, Jeremy still refuses his brother’s help, stubbornly plowing into battle with dunderheaded bravado. Amid the cool video game-inspired antics, Eliopoulos crafts an emotionally complex and satisfying story, granting both brothers legitimate perspectives and grievances in surprising ways. If it culminates predictably in Jeremy’s inevitable recognition of his brother’s strengths and value, allowing for a climactic team-up, it still gives young readers, especially those with siblings, something substantial to consider. Eliopoulos’ Charles Schultz-inspired cartooning, with balloon-headed characters and popping colors, keeps the action light and zippy even when the emotions run high. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 Gr 3–6—Jeremy and Justin are twins, but while Justin is cautious and adheres to the rules, Jeremy is more of a rebel and resents his brother's very existence. A toy ring in a cereal box gives Jeremy the powers of a video game character, and reasoning that he needs to do everything possible to protect the planet, he decides to stop following the rules. Justin, meanwhile, pores over the game's guide, worried about the potentially grave outcomes. Jeremy brushes him off. Eliopoulos, illustrator of the "Ordinary People Change the World" series, continues to evoke Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes here, heavily leaning on the specter of Calvin's Spaceman Spiff alter ego. However, while Spiff was Watterson's excuse to illustrate lush vistas, Eliopoulos rarely achieves dynamic visuals, frequently concentrating on small, concrete moments, which serve to humanize the narrative but also slow it down considerably, as does the video game exposition. Jeremy's self-aggrandizing and self-pitying attitude may put off some readers. There are few consequences for the characters' actions, with damage disappearing and memories fading, except in one key instance, which feels unsatisfying. VERDICT An additional purchase for patrons who may grow up to enjoy fantastic tales of sibling rivalry such as William Sleator's Singularity or Doug TenNapel's Power Up.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.