Review: The Templeton Twins Have An Idea

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea by Ellis Weiner. August 2012. 9780811866798. Gr 5-7.

  • How would the Templeton twins’ lives have been different had they never been born?
  • What were the names of Abigail and John, the Templeton twins?

I begin this review with a sample of the “review questions” that appear at the end of each chapter in this comical book.  They are posed by the funny, sarcastic, full-of-himself narrator. Unlike most narrators that detachedly recount a story, this one talks directly to the reader, often in a humorous and entertaining tone.

The aforementioned Templeton twins are the smart and inventive children of Elton Templeton, a professor and inventor who has never quite moved on after the death of the children’s mother.  He is offered a position at a university that will allow him to further his research on one of his inventions, the Personal One-Man Helicopter, so the family packs up and moves.

During one of the professor’s lectures at his new post, a former student and current nemesis, Dean D. Dean, interrupts and claims that he was the mind behind the personal helicopter invention, and that the professor stole his idea.  After being rebuffed by the professor, Dean storms out, foreshadowing that he is not through harassing the Templeton family.

Dean, with the aid of his twin brother, Dan D. Dean, end up kidnapping the Templeton twins, requiring the twins to rely on their talents and smarts to escape and foil the Deans’ plan.  Beneath all of the silliness and escapades, a good message comes through…be resourceful, think on your feet, and work together.

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea reminds me a lot of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events.  There is a lot of goofiness within its pages (it is the best book that contains a meatloaf recipe that I have read all year!), and the excellent illustrations by Jeremy Holmes add a lot of depth.  Overall, this is a promising start to a fun, new series.

I highly recommend visiting The Templeton Twins’ Tumblr site where you can watch the book trailer, read about the next book in the series, and best of all, submit a question to the cheeky narrator.

Borrowing from the narrator’s end-of-chapter questions, I will end with a question for you:

Did you like this review? True or False. Circle one:

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