Friday, September 30, 2016

Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel

Break out the Dr. Brown cel-ray soda, a soft serve twist and put aside a good few hours because you are not going to want to stop reading or listening to Chris Grabenstein's latest book.  It's a fun, laugh out loud adventure that hits shelves this Tuesday, October 4.  

A veer of a train stop away from Chris's  Lemoncello books, this tale, set in present times will immediately bring back your memories of that 70s Florida beach resort.  Me?  I got a wicked sunburn one year and ouch!  I can still feel it!  Could have been because I was using baby oil and nothing else. Agh.  Personally, I feel the need to crack open this reel-to-reel (ok, now you know how old I am!) and see if we actually stayed at the Wilkie's resort.  I'd be surprised if we didn't.

But never mind about me, here we have another great story from Chris.  Our hearts beat faster as the story got intense and suspenseful.  We laughed at Grandpa, the brothers, Mr. Ortega, the college students.  We bit our fingernails hoping the story would end up the way we hoped it would. We felt the chlorine on our skin and smelled the salt in the air. What a wonderful time of year to read this hot tale as we begin wearing long sleeves and sweatshirts here in upstate New York.

Like Chris, P.T. Wilkie is a talented storyteller and this is one story you don't want to miss.  Good thing those stories come easily to him because they could just be the answer to saving their hotel. P.T. lives with his mom and grandfather in the Wonderland Motel in St. Petersburg, Florida.  But things aren't as grand as they seem. They just found out they have to find $150,000 in a month to keep it the motel theirs.  With the help of P.T.'s new friend Gloria, they get to work.  Frog Croakie (not sure I'm spelling this right since we listened to the story and the book isn't even out yet!)--Karaoke with a frog slide is an instant hit as well as a scavenger hunt on the beach and green ice cream.  However, when a couple of brothers show up things start to get really interesting.  Is Grandpa's sweetheart from 1973 about to save him?  Could a miracle be hidden in one of the circa 1970s statues? Or someplace else? Will the motel be saved?

Even though "Life doesn't have the same rules as a board game" I don't have to tell you to roll the dice or spin the wheel to find the answer on whether you should get this book on October 4 or not. Just do it.  Mainly because you will be able to escape your worries and check out "the wonders and marvels [you] just can't find in everyday life" here at the Wonderland Motel.

Side Note:  Pair this with last year's graphic novel, Sunny Side Up by Jenni and Matt Holm and you have a double order of 70's Florida fun!


  1. So glad you had fun in the sun at the Wonderland!

  2. I loved this one, since I also spent a week in Florida in about 1974! GpFound your blog through All the Wonders and find your take on things to be intriguing. I've long suspected that elementary school students like sad books more than middle school students do. Jewell is fabulous, though! Met her at Kidlitcon a couple of years ago.