Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Neddiad: How Neddie took the train, went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization


THE NEDDIAD: HOW NEDDIE TOOK THE TRAIN, WENT TO HOLLYWOOD, AND SAVED CIVILIZATION
By Daniel Pinkwater
New York: Harcourt, 2007. 307 pgs. Juvenile fiction.
Neddie's family, the Wentworthsteins, decides to move to Hollywood so they could go to the Brown Derby Restaurant (we're eating in a hat!"). Fortunately, Neddie's dad made a fortune in shoelaces during WWII so they can pretty much go where they want and do what they want which in this case is ride the train to California and have adventures. Neddie's adventure begins when he meets Melvin, the blabbermouth Navajo shaman who gives him a small turtle which he must be very careful not to lose. Neddie eventually figures out that the turtle is meant to preserve life as we know it, but doesn't know what he is supposed to do with it, and neither does anyone else. While the forces of evil are building, Neddie enrolls in the Brown Sparrow Military Academy, makes friends with Seamus, Yggdrasil, and Billy the Phantom Bellboy, and does the old swaperoo with the real earth-saving turtle and a fake earth-saving turtle which almost spells DOOM but works out okay in the end. Daniel Pinkwater is one of those either/or guys: either you really like him or you really don't. I think he is a total ball of laughs and certainly worth giving a chance whether you turn out to be a slobberin' fan or not.

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