Review-Hans Bluedorn

17 Aug

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We recently received the book Archer and Zowie from Hans Bluedorn.

This softcover action/adventure book has a fun and colorful cover, with several small black-and-white sketches throughout. It is designed for ages 7-12.

Summary: Archer and Zowie are best friends and they do everything together-even travel the universe.

By random chance, they discover Archer’s microwave is not all it seems. In fact, it’s about to lead them on the adventure of a lifetime. Aliens. Anti-Matter. A Giant Space Bug. A Forest of Yellow Snow.

Can Archer and Zowie survive this crazy universe and make it back home alive?

My Thoughts: I loved the premise of this book. The science-fiction theme and crazy antics-it sounded like it would be right up my boys’ alley.

Unfortunately, as much as we wanted to like this book, it wasn’t for us.

I started by reading this book aloud to the boys, but the dialogue format didn’t lend itself to an easy read loud. Example: Zoe: Shake it around. Archer: Stop giving me advice.

After a few chapters of this, and because the boys were a bit lost I think, I decided to read it to myself instead.

The biggest issue I had was that the book intertwined real events with the fictional. This can work quite well in a story, but in this particular case, the events were so wound together, it was difficult to tell which parts were real and which were not.

For example, the kids use the babysitter’s credit card. I would guess this was a made-up part, because you can’t buy things from a microwave. However later in the story, the babysitter goes online to buy something and her credit card is maxed. This seems like it is part of the real world and not the imaginary one, but then how can her credit card be maxed? It was pretty confusing.

A better delineation between real and imaginary would have made the book easier to follow.

I think it might have worked better as a graphic novel, because you would have been able to see which parts were real and which were part of their fictional world. Things might have made a little more sense.

It was also a bit irreverent and random for me. I don’t mind silly, but when you start to mention things like wondering if the rain is God’s pee, having entire pages that mainly have one word repeated over and over, abruptly switching topics over and over, it’s a bit much.

Overall, I would say the book was too “all over the place” for my tastes, and my boys and I were a bit disappointed because the premise had sounded so engaging.

I can’t say I would recommend it, but if you have a boy that is 7-12 that likes crazy made-up stories, you can learn more about the book at Hans Bluedorn’s website.

You can also visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews.

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