Book Review: REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS

Thanks Kidlit Exchange and Simon Kids for the Advance Review Copy. All opinions are my own, but I have extremely sophisticated taste in books, so you want to listen to me.

There’s a snarky butt-blasting robot on the loose who could fart someone to smithereens and probably get its creators grounded forever. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

Worse, main character Ken and his friends, the Enginerds, are to blame. Enginerd Dan built Robot Number Eighteen, and Ken’s best friend Mike Edsley (the stupidest genius ever to live) let him leave the house in a rage during an argument over a sandwich.

The guys could care less that their town’s been pelted by its second bizzard in a week (a stretch for springtime, even in New England). The Enginerds, save Ken, are all way too preoccupied with a newcomer who’s obsessed with aliens and conspiracy theories.

It’s not just enough that their new friend is weird… it’s..

Gulp…

A GIRL.

So forget the robots. The guys are all obsessed with building gadgets to make contact with the aliens that *must* be out there. Who cares if Klaus destroys the city in a fart rampage? Michaela’s really pretty, and Ken’s really disgusted.

Ken is able to track down Number Eighteen (now going by Klaus and working at one of the local junk shops). If only Ken can dismantle Klaus, he can bring the world back to normal… right?

I don’t do spoiler alerts, but the climax is a fabulous high-stakes food fight with a farting robot and a tenuous friend reunion. Hold the radishes.*

“Cross me once, shame on you. Cross me twice, I FART ON YOU.”

Loved:

  • I was geeking out over the awesomely bizarre secondary characters. Ken has a dog named Kitty who has an all-time favorite dirty sock. Klaus the robot shoots square poop out of his butt when he farts. REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS is pure comedic gold.
  • Lerner nails the hilariosly geeky/awkward nature of preteen boys; dynamics of irritating friends’ siblings, and crabby kid-hating adults.
  • Between all the turd missiles, dumpster-diving dogs, and robot butt-blasts Ken does learn some pretty (sneakily-planted) lessons about personal responsibility and friendship.

Caveat: REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS is second in a series (Which is a great thing! I’m looking forward to the farting aliens in what I presume will he the third book.) However, because I didn’t read the prequel, Enginerds, *yet*, it was tough to get oriented at the beginning due to complex backstory and Ken’s large and weird friend group.

TL;DR? Buy *both* ENGINERDS and REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS and revel in the Douglas Adams x Captain Underpants glory. Problem solved.

REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS tested splendidly with a self-appointed focus group of a second-grader:

Give to:

  • Fans of Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid, and Jonathan Rosen.
  • Short chapters make for fast read by reluctant readers; kids who prefer science to reading; kids needing the confidence to jump from chapter books to MG.
  • Whatever you do, be prepared for an afternoon of jokes about robot farts.

REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS blasts onto bookshelves tomorrow, Feb 19.


To note, none of the above are affiliate links. Get it together, Amazon Associates’ tech support desk.

* Were REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS realistic fiction, the mere existence of such a vegetable would be a permanent deterrent for any and all extraterrestrial visits.

 

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