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Thursday, June 20, 2013

TJ and the Time Stumblers: AAAARGH!!! (book 2) by BIll Myers

I just finished Bill Myers' second book in the TJ and the Time Stumblers series.  This is a series for kids ages 8 and up.  You can read about the first book and see a book trailer about the series here.

This book opens with 2 dozen pirates suddenly in TJ's room thanks to Herby and Tuna, the time travelers.  Those two aren't the brightest students in their 23rd century class.  Their equipment is frequently failing and causing constant problems for TJ....hence the pirates in her bedroom.  When an important book report is due, Herby and Tuna decide to help, but their help would actually be called cheating.  TJ has to make an important decision to take the easy way or the hard way.

This book presented some problems for me.  There were two incidences that I really didn't feel were appropriate.  First, in the beginning of the book, their was a scene with the pirates that I really didn't like.  After TJ stomped on the pirate's foot the following was said in the book,
     "'ARGH!' he shouted, letting her go and jumping up and down on his other foot (which unfortunately, was not there).  So, having only a peg for a foot, he did a lot more ker-plop-ing onto the ground than jumping.  And with all the ker-plop-ing came a lot more 'ARGH! -ings followed by a ton of 'Bleep-bleep-bleep, bleep-bleep-bleep'-ings (which is all pirates are allowed to scream in a PG rated book)." (page 8)
I really think that it is unnecessary for kids 8 and up to read about a pirate cursing in a Christian book.  Later on the same page you read, "'ARGH,' the pirate argh-ed. (He would have thrown in a few bleeps of his own but figured his mother might be reading this book.)  Cursing is not cool and I don't want it portrayed as such. 
The second incident was much later in the book when Herby and Tuna are showing TJ what will happen in the future should she decide to cheat.  It shows her smoking.  I guess I really don't want my eight year old reading about cursing or smoking in a Christian series.  They get enough of seeing that in the world and don't need to be reading about it too.
Other than those two incidences, the over all theme in the book is good.  The moral this book is focusing on is being truthful.  TJ is tempted to take the easy way out and cheat,  but Herby and Tuna use their holograph machine to show TJ what will happen in her life because of that one decision.  I like that the story shows that one choice can affect your life.
So, all that being said, other than those two incidences in the book, I liked the main message it was communicated.  I would give this book 3 stars.

***I checked this book out from my local library to read for the Summer Reading Program by Tyndale House. 

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