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The Adventures of the Hotsy Totsy by Clive Cussler
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
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As Long as He Needs Me by Mary Verdick
Bone: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith
Bone: Old Man's Cave by Jeff Smith
Bone: Rock Jaw by Jeff Smith
Cat and Canary by Michael Foreman
Celestine, Drama Queen by Penny Ives
Elena's Serenade by Campbell Geeslin
Gentleman Takes a Chance by Sarah A. Hoyt
Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance by Paul Park
Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
Halloween Town by Lucius Shepard
Iris by Nancy Springer
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
Kiss My Math by Danica McKelar
The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
The Last Ember by Daniel Levin
The Magic Gourd by Baba Wagué Diakité
Monster Motel by Douglas Florian
Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
The Princess Test by Gail Carson Levine
Queen of Candesce by Karl Schroeder
The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel Miller
The Talking Baby by Jeremy and Karina Sweet
Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) by Mary Pope Osborne
Treehorn's Wish by Florence Parry Heide

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy: 09/24/10

cover art

I read my first Clive Cussler novel, Raise the Titanic, when I was about ten. It was on a family camping trip, one of those long drives. I was hooked. I've been reading him on and off ever since.

My husband knows how much I enjoy Cussler's books. Last month when he was at the book store to buy a family copy of The Red Pyramid he spotted The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy, a new middle grades adventure by Clive Cussler. Of course I had have a copy. That it was set in the San Francisco Bay was an added bonus.

The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy is the sequel to The Adventures of Vin Fiz (2006). In that one the Nicefolk twins receive a magic box from a mysterious visitor, Sucoh Sucop. They use it to turn their toy airplane into a full-sized one that flies by magic.

In the sequel they decide the use the box again, this time to create a lifesize speed boat, Hotsy Totsy, to participate in a race from San Francisco to Sacramento and back. Along the way they are chased by the Boss and his henchmen, recurring baddies from the first book.

The best way to describe The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy is to say the Bobbsy Twins meet Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It's somewhere between parody and homage to those types of books. Since I grew up reading both The Bobbsy Twins and Clive Cussler's books, I enjoyed seeing what he did with the genre.

That said, the book wasn't a perfect escape for me. The narration is a little rough in places. Cussler needs a little more practice modifying his usual voice for this genre and age group. He's at his best when he's describing the race and the local scenery. I'm sure the rest will improve as he continues the series.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Saturday, September, 25, 2010 at 07:02:09


Something tells me I should read a Clive Cussler book. I can't believe the number of Cussler reviews I've read this month, it has to be a sign! And now he's even turned to writing for kids?! Which book of his should I start with? They're all part of some series aren't they? or does he do standalones too?

Comment #2: Monday, September 27, 2010 at 21:48:07


If you like ridiculous action adventure mysteries, then read Clive Cussler. Dirk Pitt does age over time and his character matures too. The books for the most part stand alone so if you don't mind Dirk being randomly different ages then it doesn't matter what order you read them in. My favorites from the series are: Raise the Titanic, Sahara, Vahalla Rising and Inca Gold.

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