Patterson and Grabenstein (I Funny) launch another middle-grade series with a tongue-in-cheek tale about four siblings who follow in their treasure-hunting father’s footsteps after he goes missing at sea. Told from the viewpoint of 12-year-old Bick and augmented by drawings by his twin sister, Beck, the story follows the Kidd children, which also include super-smart Storm and girl-crazy Tommy, as they set out to fulfill their father’s final mission: to hunt down a missing artifact and find the treasure that might help them rescue their kidnapped mother. They also contend with pirates, killer surfers, unsavory middlemen, and a rival treasure hunter, adventures that Neufeld masterfully captures with humor and energy in b&w illustrations that have something of a Robert Neubecker vibe. Though generally lighthearted, a frenetic sense of excitement and adventure permeates this nautical escapade, which features over-the-top situations and characters, and plenty of intrigue. There’s little time to breathe as the Kidds pinball from one spot of trouble to the next, making for a fun and fast-paced ride. Ages 8–12. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/12/2013 Release date: 09/16/2013 Genre: Children's
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