In this sequel to The Templeton Twins Have an Idea (2012), ingenious Abigail and John (though don’t let the over-the-top narrator hear you use that descriptor unless you are referring to him) return for more hijinks and humor.
The novel can be read as a stand-alone story, but readers must be prepared to write the narrator an apology letter for not reading the first Templeton Twins (the text of which he graciously supplies before performing his narrator duties). The twins, now 13, have recently relocated with their inventor father, who has accepted a position at the Thespian Academy of the Performing Arts and Sciences. Their father’s charge: Create a device that will allow audience members to see close-ups on stage. It’s not long, however, before the unscrupulous Dean brothers (and identical twins) from the first book make an appearance, and professor Templeton’s invention becomes the target of sabotage. The mystery is easy to solve as Abigail and John try to thwart the Dean brothers’ impractical schemes, but that’s not the point of the story. Once again, the narrator hogs the show with his supercilious storytelling, which becomes super silly with footnotes, definitions, acronyms, end-of-chapter quizzes and, of course, direct references to his superiority.
Fans of wordplay will find much more to enjoy, especially with the return of the word-puzzle cryptics. (Fiction. 9-13)