Author: Korman, Gordon
Relates, in multiple voices, the adventures of a group of youngsters at an electronics-free wellness camp where wealthy, spoiled Jett, leads other campers in trying to stop a criminal.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 510314
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/20)
School Library Journal (12/01/20)
Booklist (+) (12/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 Gr 3–5—Jett Barnov is the most spoiled kid in Silicon Valley, and he is always getting into trouble. Finally, his father sends him to a retreat at The Oasis of Mind and Body Wellness in the middle of Arkansas. This retreat, complete with no meat, no pets, and worst of all, no screens of any kind, is meant to help Jett get his act together. As a notorious bad boy, Jett wreaks havoc throughout the retreat; but then he finds a strange lizard, and entices a few other kids to help take care of it. Together, they uncover some mysterious happenings at the oasis, and link them to the unknown lizard and enigmatic millionaire in town. This plot-driven, intriguing story is told through the viewpoints of four characters, so readers are likely to find one who resonates with them. The four narrators have well-developed personalities, although some of the secondary characters are flat and mostly used to move the narrative along. The antics are sometimes over the top but always amusing, and young readers will sympathize with the lack of access to daily creature comforts. Though not expressly a humor title, Korman also sets up some very silly situations, in his typical fashion. VERDICT This fast-paced, funny friendship story will delight realistic fiction readers and fans of Korman's work. A suggested purchase for middle grade collections.—Ellen Conlin, Naperville P.L., IL - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2020 *Starred Review* Using multiple narrators, Korman assembles a decidedly unappealing cast for a provocative take on the redemptive power of friends and pets. Dispatched by his internet mogul dad to a no-electronics wellness camp in deepest Arkansas after a series of dangerous pranks, bad boy Jett immediately dedicates himself to getting kicked out by breaking every rule and alienating everyone there. Rescuing a small but aggressive lizard from the camp’s hot spring forces him to tone down his campaign, though, because he needs help not only keeping “Needles” hidden (the camp has a “no pets” rule), but since it, too, is repelled by the camp’s all-veggie cuisine, finding a way to sneak out to the tiny town a few miles upriver for provisions. Enter an unlikely trio of preteen allies: self-righteous new ager Grace, hyperallergic sycophant Tyrell, and oddly secretive Brooklynne. What sets up as a (relatively) conventional camp story, however, swings into a wild loop with Jett’s discovery that Ivory Novis, the camp’s charismatic meditation “pathfinder,” is hypnotizing adult guests. The stage is set for an awesome climactic night of chases, captures, and explosions—all of which leave Jett at least a tad less lonely, angry, and self-absorbed. Readers still won’t be inclined to like him much, but they might be willing to cut him a little slack. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.