Seventh-graders Hector and Mando are spending a weekend with Hector's uncle in Fresno, California. No sooner is the visit underway than the boys run into trouble: Uncle Julio, shooting aerial farm photographs, accidently snaps a crime in progress. Hector and Mando mouth off to a local newspaper about their role in obtaining this evidence and get their names in print along with enough details of the heist to make the robbers nervous. Huey and Freddie, who are comic-book bad guys, are only slightly more dimensional than Julio and his love interest, Vicky. In fact, all the adults are goofy, including chiropractor Dr. Femur; and there are too many points of view, too many lapses in storytelling in quest of easy laughs, too many tics in the unexpectedly graceless writing. Not in evidence are such hallmarks of Soto's short stories as low-key humor, fully fleshed-out characters, and defining situations, incisively handled. The weekend may have been crazy; the book is just plain clumsy. Spanish-English glossary.