cover image Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel

Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel

Chris Grabenstein, illus. by Brooke Allen. Random House, $13.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-553-53602-7

Wisecracking 12-year-old P.T. Wilkie loves the Wonderland Motel in Florida, where he lives with his business-minded mother and fun-loving, fast-talking grandfather, who originally opened the motel. P.T. takes after his grandfather, who has a gift for tall tales and affection for the “zany decorations” adorning the property, but it’s going to take more than wild stories to save the financially troubled Wonderland. Enter Gloria Ortega, who checks into the hotel with her father and shares her business smarts with P.T., leading to money-making ventures that include karaoke performances featuring the motel’s frog-shaped waterslide. When two elderly jewel thieves show up to find diamonds they lost at Wonderland decades earlier, P.T. and Gloria realize that this could be their chance to save Wonderland. Lumberjanes contributor Allen’s lively cartoons are a perfect fit for Grabenstein’s (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics) quirky, upbeat romp, which is filled with mystery, danger, and laughs. P.T.’s longing for his absent father and his unflagging optimism make him a sympathetic narrator that will leave readers looking forward to the next installment in this new series. Ages 8–12. [em]Author’s agent: Eric Myers, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Oct.) [/em]