Thursday, July 07, 2011

Bill Myers's TJ and the Time Stumblers ~Aaaargh!~ Reviewed

By Bill Myers
Published by Tyndale
ISBN# 978-1414334547
192 Pages

Back Cover:

This six-book series centers around two 23rd century goofballs, Tuna and Herby, who travel back in time to study TJ Finkelstein for their history project. TJ will someday become a great leader who demonstrates honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, self-sacrifice, respect for others—all traits she hones and grasps through her adventures in this series. Unfortunately, Tuna and Herby get stuck in TJ’s time (modern day), so she has to deal with their schemes while juggling the normal issues of a seventh grader who has moved to a new city, is trying to fit in, and is coping with her mother’s death and her family’s new life.

In AAAARGH!!!, Tuna and Herby try to help TJ with a book report by getting the author to write it for her, but all three of them quickly see the consequences of cheating spiral out of control. Meanwhile, TJ’s cute neighbor and classmate Chad Steel is getting ready for a big surfing competition—and learning his own lesson about honesty.


I loved book one so much in this series I was thrilled to read the review copy of book #2. The second book starts out with TJ still getting used to the idea of having two male aliens back from the 23rd century living in her attic. She has to hide them from her family and everyone else on the planet until they can fix their travel pod that crashed after running out of fuel. This book reminded me a little of the old T.V. series My Favorite Martian.

If life wasn’t stressful enough for TJ with going to Malibu High in California after living in a small town in Missouri most of her life, and trying to hide aliens from her family and friends was almost impossible - since she was the only one who saw them. They weren't sore on the eyes but having them follow her around was kind of weird and felt almost inescapable some days!

In an effort to hide the Aliens she accidentally embarrasses Hesper, the most popular girl in school, by tripping and landing on her with food of course. She knew this girl would get revenge. But what did miss popular have in mind? That was the question! Then she hears pirate noises from the other room. Oh, No! Now what have these aliens gotten her into?

They start to explain to TJ that the only way to truly read a book is to experience it. TJ hasn’t a clue what they are talking about until she finds her attic is filled with pirates. Yes, they have just started to read Treasure Island. Now they were living the story in her attic. Could this day get any worse?

These aliens have space toys like you’ve seen in Star Trek the second generation. There space toys allow them to bring the book Treasure Island to life inside TJ’s house and they weren't quiet about it either. Now how was she supposed to hide them from her family and the next door neighbor Chadd Sheet – who just so happens to be dating the most popular girl at her school named Hesper Breakaheart, T.V. super star!

Hesper has plans for TJ and they aren’t good ones. She wants to hire a detective to dig up some dirt on TJ! She couldn’t let the new girl get away with embarrassing her in front of the whole school! No one gets away with doing that – no one!

Ok, you have the set up for the best story! I enjoyed the second book as much as the first!! In both books I laughed at the parts where the characters in the book are faced with choices they need to make. I love how Bill spells out what the characters’ choices are and lets them think about the outcome of each choice - also giving the reader time to think about which choice was best! I loved that.

I like TJ and the quirky alien characters in the book and the adventures they take you on that will help you escape the pressures of your day, challenge the reader to see if it’s ok to do the right thing and have lots of fun in the journey! I highly recommend this series for your kid’s summer reading!!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

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