Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Tucker and his friends, Crandal, Scotty, Benny and Josh, were looking forward to their annual School Is Out For The Summer sleep over. Tucker had a copy of the new video game, Revenge of the Rabid Leprechauns! The plan was to stay up most of the night fighting the Ninja Munchkins, Insane Robot Assassins and the Zombie Carp. Things got a bit out of hand at the party, and the boys (all but Crandal) were grounded from all electronic devices until September. The adventures grew as they found other things to do during summer vacation: took a ride in a flying castle, rescued simps from Evil Caesar, camped out in a field, went fishing, and told ghost stories around a camp fire. What began as the worse summer ever, quickly became the best summer ever. This summer made him realize he didn't want to build his life around any game.
Tony Ducklow offers children and parents a look at life without electronic devices such as video games, cell phones, television, and computers. We adults grew up playing on tire swing's; children have pasty colored skin from staying in the house and are missing out on fun things like a club house, playing ball, making mud pies, etc.
Ducklow recognizes the importance of being a child, playing outside and exploring nature. He is very careful not to say that video games should be eliminated, but that they should be limited. He has created characters that will appeal to 4th-6th graders. Tucker, Crandal, Scotty, Benny, Josh and Maddy are very realistic. Ducklow knows just what appeals to children; the antics of the gang are exciting and surprising. I like the way he included the police officers, proving that they are friendly, helpful and not out to get someone. The emotions the children go through were lifelike: anger, jealousy, hurt, and pleasure. I will be watching for more books by this author.