#1190 – SHIPWRECKERS! by Scott Peterson & Joshua Pruett


The Curse of the Cursed Temple of Curses or, We Nearly Died. A Lot.
Written by Scott Peterson & Joshua Pruett
Illustrated by Brian Ajhar
Disney•Hyperion Books  5/21/2019
336 pages   Ages 8—12

Genre:  Middle Grade Book, Fiction
Themes:  Amazon River, Curses, Treasure Hunting



Mike Gonzalez prefers a life without risk, thank you very much. He’d rather spend his time reading, getting caught up in the adventures contained in books from the safety of a comfy chair. But that is sort of difficult on a family vacation to the Amazon.

His little sister, Dani, on the other hand, lives for danger. A born daredevil, she can’t get enough of the crazy bugs, climbing, zip-lining, and general reckless exploring she seeks wherever she goes.

But when they end up stuck on a tour boat manned by a ridiculous captain determined to find buried treasure, they may get more adventure either of them could have ever bargained for. (from jacket flap)

Opening Lines: 

The temple ate people.
At least, that’s what the stories said.

The man in the dark canvas duster coat and panama hat knew to be wary, but he wasn’t scared. At least not yet. It was in his nature to take risks. That’s where the adventure was. And the temple that was rumored to swallow the curious sounded like someplace he would find plenty of adventure.

Why I like this book:  Twelve-year-old Mike, who loves adventures vicariously through his beloved books, is an overly protective brother to his younger sister Dani. Dani is thrilled she is finally on a real adventure—down the Amazon River. The kids (and their clueless parents) are booked on the Shipwreck Tour with Captain Kevin Adventureson, a pun-loving goofball. At the first tributary, the good captain veers right, stopping at an Amazonian jungle-mall. While everyone is busy at the mall he quickly takes off once more, unaware two stowaways have joined him. With no time to spare, Captain Kevin lets the kids tag along and Dani has found her hero.

There are two villains, one the snazzy dressing Boss and the other a large, song-loving, humming, mild-mannered goon. Adventureson is meeting them about a map, a temple, and a treasure. His plan is not the same as the villains’ plan. Soon the two, er, three brawl and chase each other through the jungle.

I liked reading SHIPWRECKED, with its good-natured characters, inexhaustible supply of good-fortune, and zany creatures and situations. While I read, I kept thinking—and sometimes picturing—how great a cartoon this would make.  The story is wildly fast and funny; the villains and obstacles always kid-friendly; and the near non-stop humor can be goofy. I enjoyed the writing and think young readers will make this series a winner.

Kids will love SHIPWRECKERS ! They will love the fast-as-a-caiman pace, the characters (lovable on both sides), and the quest with all its obstacles (villains, the Amazon and its animals, and Captain Kevin’s boat ship). Ah, Captain Kevin Adventureson . . . The captain’s often groan-worthy puns are a treat kids will be repeating. (Peterson and Pruett should start writing teachers apology letters!)

Aruna, a young waitress, helps fight off the villains and then joins the three treasure hunters. She makes a good role model for young Dani. (She also carries a HUGE secret.) Aruna proves to be a helpful hero, but, as it should be, Mike and Dani are the real heroes.

Illustrations:  Black and white, full page before each chapter.


SHIPWRECKERS! The Curse of the Cursed Temple of Curses or, We Nearly Died. A Lot. Copyright © 2019 by Scott Peterson & Joshua Pruett. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Brian Ajhar. Published by Disney•Hyperion Books, New York, NY.

Available at Amazon

Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserve


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