By accident, I found out that James Patterson had his own MG (middle grade) publishing house. I thought – how cool is that! So I thought I’d read one of his MG books, since that is what I am currently writing. I listened to the audio version of this book. The audio jacket says it’s available from Little Brown and Co., which is a division of one of big publishing houses, so maybe I heard wrong about this being published by James Patterson himself.
Stats: 452 pages with the hardcover, published in 2013, Audio version is 5 discs with pdf of the illustrations on the 5th disc along with the audio – (I didn’t know you could have both on one disc!) and is 6 hours worth. Bryan Kennedy was the narrator.
Blurb: (Goodreads) The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear n the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents–and find out if they’re still alive.
What I liked: No a whole lot. The story moved right along – good for a young audience, and it was a very kid-friendly kind of story – not too deep, cool adventures, and lots of fun action but that’s about it. I’m thinking very young readers would like this.
What I didn’t like: The whole thing seemed to be dumbed down. I don’t like stories that are dumbed down for kids. I think kids are smarter than adults frequently give them credit for and writing something that pushing them a bit, makes them better readers. I also did not like at all (and I’m surprised I didn’t see more review comments about this) that Patterson has the kahunas to make fun of a character’s size, as in there is an overweight female character (one of the 4 main kids) in this story. I applaud that he made one the main characters a different size – not all kids (or adults) are the same size – but to actually say negative things about her size and to not just have the bad guys call her fat names, was really surprising and unnecessary. I think he also has one of the kids call one of the overweight adults a fat name too. Why aren’t more people irritated by this?! I know kids do this (and adults) but why would we want to perpetuate this behavior? Why would his editor or publisher let this go? Unless James was the final decider and he did what he wanted. I also didn’t like Bryan Kennedy’s rendition but I can see that kids would enjoy it. Again, it seemed a bit too dumbed down for my taste and I do enjoy kids stories, so it’s not just that.
Rating: 2/5 Only because I think kids would like it. I would not want me kid to read this. I would recommend adults read it first before deciding if they want their own kids to read it.