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BILL MYERS NEW YOUTH FICTION SERIES - A BLAST!












TJ AND THE TIME STUMBLER’S
By Bill Myers
Published by Tyndale
ISBN# 978-1-4143-3453-0
182 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 New Kid Catastrophes, TJ accidentally makes an enemy of Hesper Breakahart, the superstar who attends their school. And Tuna and Herby’s attempts to help just lead to one disaster after another. In the end, TJ is still very unpopular, but she learns the value of looking past appearances and gains a few friends—and the attention of the most popular boy in school.

Review: I’m a huge Bill Myers fan. When an opportunity came about to receive a review copy of his new children’s series I quickly signed up. My two boys and I have benefited from reading other children’s series by this author and I couldn’t wait to read this new series. We loved the action packed, funny adventures in theses book with great messages I appreciated.  The quality of his new series is no different!

TJ Finkelstein’s family has moved from a small town in Missouri to Malibu, California, madness! TJ sees that Malibu Jr. High has some of the richest, snobbiest kids ever. She was the new kid on the block and in the school! Yikes!

One amazing thing was she lived next to the dreamiest boy, Chad Steel. Just so happens his girlfriend is Hesper Breakahart, T.V. Super star, miss popular! He’d never notice TJ or would he after the alien’s arrive?

TJ’s life was different but not impossible until two male aliens from the 23rd century traveled back in time to break down near her house. TJ Finkelstein is stuck with these two male aliens until they fixed their ship and could leave. They couldn’t leave fast enough for TJ, she couldn’t keep this secret from everyone including her immediate family. Living was traumatic enough without two alien guys following her around all day using their cloaking devices so only TJ could see them. Lucky her!

This is book one in the series.  I loved it! This series is geared for kids 8-12 and reminded me of two movies, Star Trek and the three stooges mixed together. This book had the three stooges slap-stick well timed humor along with Star Trek the next generation space toys and wild adventures. It took me away from the cares of this world and made me laugh and I could see the principles Bill Myers is trying to have the youth catch! Kids will be so caught up in the story drama and believable characters they won’t realize they are learning valuable character building morals along the way. It also challenges the reader to take a look at their lives and the choices they are making! It can be ok to do the right thing! I highly recommend this new series to anyone who wants to have fun and learn a thing or two along the way.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network http://www.bookfun.org/





















TJ AND TIME STUMBLERS #2
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.

Review: 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!!

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org

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