review copy provided by publisher
In eight days, Coke and Pepsi McDonald are going to turn thirteen.Gutman is of course the author of popular series such as My Weird School and The Baseball Card Adventures. This is the start of another series that brings the old Spy Kids movies to mind, or perhaps Michael Buckley's NERDS series.
Before then, they'll jump off a cliff, get trapped in the locked basement of their burning school, chased cross-country by murderous lunatics, left for dead in the pit of a sand dune, forced to decipher mysterious coded messages, thrown into a giant vat of SPAM, and visit the world's largest . . . ball of twine!
There's more, but if we told you here, we'd have to kill you.
As such, we have to say it's a little formulaic. Most of the 'surprises' were easy to predict, as was the ending. At the same time, we think this will appeal to the middle/upper elementary crowd that like Gutman's other series, those for whom humor and adventure are more important than suspense. There were plenty of phrases and situations to laugh out loud at, from clueless parents to (literal) bathroom humor, to the normal brother-sister sniping. Give this to fans of Buckley, Louis Sachar, or Michael Greenberg.