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RETURN OF THE HOMEWORK MACHINE by Dan Gutman

RETURN OF THE HOMEWORK MACHINE

By Dan Gutman

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5416-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Sitting in the local police station, sixth graders Snik, Judy, Kelsey and Brenton and their teacher recount the events that led them there: the loss of a unique computer chip and their search in the Grand Canyon for Egyptian treasure. Readers of The Homework Machine (2006) will welcome the return of familiar characters and appreciate the addition of a classmate whose plans for the superchip are less than savory. This sequel stands alone, however, satisfyingly suspenseful in its several strands. Besides the search for the chip, there is Brenton’s creation of a web-based doomsday cult surrounding the Grand Canyon, their new interest in rocketry and old newspaper reports of an Egyptian treasure. With their teacher, they hike to the canyon bottom, raft on the river and scale the walls to find treasure, a corpse and a dangerous man. Gutman weaves this all together, revealing it chronologically through the voices of those involved, a complicated structure that is surprisingly easy to follow. Briskly told, this middle-grade adventure should have wide appeal. (Fiction. 8-12)