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Home Sweet Motel
ISBN: 9780553536027
Author: Grabenstein, Chris/ Allen, Brooke (ILT)
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Published: October 2016
Retail: $13.99    OUR PRICE: $6.99
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Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: Loving everything about his life at the Wonderland Motel, where he enjoys concession foods, the pool and more, enthusiastic storyteller P. T. Wilkie teams up with his clever friend, Gloria, to save the motel from being shut down due to lack of business. By the best-selling author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Target Grade: 4-6
Grade level: 4-6
Physical Information: 1.00" H x 100.00" L x 6.00" W
Bargain Category: Upper Elementary, Mystery, Growing Up, Chapter Books
Grade level(s): 4th, 5th, 6th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall)
Middle schooler P.T. Wilkie lives with his mother and eccentric, ne'er-do-well grandfather in the family's Florida motel. In these first books, P.T. and new friend Gloria save Wonderland from foreclosure (Home), then pitch Wonderland as a film set to Hollywood bigwigs (Beach). Over-the-top goofiness, crazy schemes, and improbable action abound against a backdrop of the 1970s-kitschy motel. Comics-style art plays up the silliness. [Review covers these Welcome to Wonderland titles: Home Sweet Motel and Beach Party Surf Monkey.] Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 August #2)

Wisecracking 12-year-old P.T. Wilkie loves the Wonderland Motel in Florida, where he lives with his business-minded mother and fun-loving, fast-talking grandfather, who originally opened the motel. P.T. takes after his grandfather, who has a gift for tall tales and affection for the "zany decorations" adorning the property, but it's going to take more than wild stories to save the financially troubled Wonderland. Enter Gloria Ortega, who checks into the hotel with her father and shares her business smarts with P.T., leading to money-making ventures that include karaoke performances featuring the motel's frog-shaped waterslide. When two elderly jewel thieves show up to find diamonds they lost at Wonderland decades earlier, P.T. and Gloria realize that this could be their chance to save Wonderland. Lumberjanes contributor Allen's lively cartoons are a perfect fit for Grabenstein's (Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics) quirky, upbeat romp, which is filled with mystery, danger, and laughs. P.T.'s longing for his absent father and his unflagging optimism make him a sympathetic narrator that will leave readers looking forward to the next installment in this new series. Ages 8–12. Author's agent: Eric Myers, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Oct.)

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Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 August)

Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old P.T. Wilkie narrates this series starter. He lives at the Wonderland Motel in St. Pete's Beach, FL. His grandfather, Walt, founded the hotel in 1970 and did well until another Walt opened Disney World a year later. The Wilkies have been struggling to remain open ever since. P.T. always looks on the bright side. He doesn't push his single mom about who his dad is, he's close to his grandfather, and he thinks motel living, with its free ice cream and housekeeping, is just great. He's also an irrepressible storyteller, much to the chagrin of his neighbor and history teacher, Mr. Frumpkes. Unfortunately, his idyllic life is about to change in a month's time, thanks to a balloon loan coming due. His mom and grandpa need to come up with $100,000. The only way to do that is to sell the Wonderland to a sleazy developer. P.T. joins forces with Gloria Ortiz, a guest who happens to be a business whiz. As the two listen to Mr. Wilkie's tales about the early days of the Wonderland, they come up with a series of money-making ideas to save it. Complicating matters are a pair of elderly brothers who are not what they appear to be. This is classic Grabenstein—there are lots of sly asides and a tongue-in-cheek tone; a spirited, wise-guy hero in P.T.; a fast pace that edges a bit over-the-top; a vividly kitschy setting; and cartoon-style black-and-white illustrations throughout. The mystery should satisfy Grabenstein's "Mr. Lemoncello" followers, and the humor and visuals will appeal to fans of his collaborations with James Patterson. VERDICT This new series should be a hit among a variety of readers.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ

[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.