Book Reviews

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner and Jeremy Homes

I hadn’t even finished the Prologue before I knew I would love The Templeton Twins Have an Idea. It has a narrator with some serious personality – in that respect it reminded me a bit of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I found this one much funnier and more light-hearted. And also, unlike a couple of other books I’ve read in the past couple of years, it didn’t feel like a knock-off of A Series of Unfortunate Events. 

This story follows thirteen-year-old twins, John and Abigail, who have recently lost their mother. Their inventor/professor father is so heartbroken, that they move to a new town for him to take a new job, but at the new university, he’s confronted by a former student who claims that the professor’s big invention (a personal helicopter/backpack contraption) was his idea and demands that he turn over the entire project.

When the professor (predictably) refuses, the student and his own twin, kidnap the young twins in order to blackmail the professor.

Fortunately, John and Abigail are both smart and resourceful and things don’t go quite as smoothly as the kidnapping twins might have hoped.

The plot moves right along, but it’s really the narrator that carries this story. I laughed my little brains out. I probably would have highlighted half the book, except that early on, Ella caught me marking a funny line and then proceeded to BEG to “write in mama’s book.” So, I guess I won’t be highlighting much anymore.

Each chapter ends with a “questions for review” section, with each question delighting me more. In the Prologue, for instance, the entire prologue is simply a large “The End” printed across the pages. The questions then are 1) “Did you Enjoy the Prologue” and 2) “Do you think it makes the slightest bit of difference to me whether you did or not?”

A bit further:

How is this possible? How can hobbies be so important? How can a dog be ridiculous?

Please, kindly stop asking me all these questions. You do your job, which is reading, and I’ll do mine, which is narrating. You are the Reader. I am the Narrator. Do we understand each other?

This would be SUCH a fun book to read aloud. If I were still working in an elementary school, this would almost certainly be one of my choices for a fourth or fifth grade class this fall.

And the illustrations just add to the general fun of this book. I hope this series (yes, of course it’s going to be a series) turns out to be quite popular. I’ll definitely be picking up the next installment. 

Copy received from publisher

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  • Reply Heather August 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I've been looking for a great read aloud to do with Tanner, this is perfect! And my library system owns a copy! Yes! Thanks Janssen.

  • Reply Kim August 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous read. We loved A Series of Unfortunate Events. My daughter is entering 5th grade. I am going to add it to her goodread list. Is Everyday Reading on

  • Reply Kim August 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Sorry, I just found your link to goodreads by your picture! Thanks 😉

  • Reply girlseeksplace August 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I love books with unique narrators. I'll have to give this one a try.

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