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new Cussler Book released today written for children

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  • Terri Pascal
    ** *The Adventures of Vin Fiz* FROM OUR EDITORS Bestselling adult novelist Clive Cussler conjures up a hypnotic, charmingly nostalgic tale about a pair of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2006
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      ** *The Adventures of Vin Fiz* FROM OUR EDITORS
      Bestselling adult novelist Clive Cussler conjures up a hypnotic, charmingly
      nostalgic tale about a pair of ten-year-old twins who get their wish to
      explore the wide world beyond their parents' California farm.
      Ten-year-old twins Lacey and Casey Nicefolk live on a tiny herb farm in
      California, wishing they could see the world . . . but how, when times are
      so hard? That is where Sucoh Sucop comes in (you may notice his name is
      Hocus Pocus spelled backward).The mysterious man leaves the twins a magic
      box that can transform any toy into a life-sized reality. SoonCasey and
      Lacey, and their faithful hound Floopy, are soaring cross-country through
      the sky in the enchanted *Vin Fiz,* Casey's model of a Wright Brothers
      biplane.Yet the ride is not a smooth one. The twins encounter danger after
      danger, and must rescue a town held captive by gold-hungry bandits, not to
      mention a runaway train full of terrified passengers!

      In the tradition of *Chitty Chitty Bang Bang* comes an old-fashioned
      adventure full of magic and heroism that will take young readers on a
      journey not soon forgotten.
      Publishers Weekly
      Bestselling adult author Cussler meshes fantasy and adventure in this
      lighthearted tale, which opens on a California farm. After an itinerant
      farmhand arrives to help the Nicefolk family with the harvest, twin
      10-year-old siblings Casey and Lacey begin to hear "unexplainable tinkling
      and clinking noises" coming from the barn. On his departure, the stranger
      gives the kids a contraption that can make toys life-size-but they must only
      use the device to do good and must keep it a secret. Cussler sets his tale
      at a time when steamboats still traveled the Mississippi: Casey builds a
      replica of the Wright brothers' biplane, Flyer, which he names Vin Fiz
      (after his favorite soda pop), and uses the magical machine to enlarge it.
      The twins and their dog take off on a cross-country flight in the aircraft,
      which possesses a "mystical vision" that draws it to people in danger. Under
      her guidance, the youngsters help free Nevada townsfolk forced by scoundrels
      to labor in a gold mine, halt a runaway train overtaken by bandits in Ohio
      and stop two girls from tumbling over Niagara Falls. Cussler sprinkles his
      folksy narrative with instructional notes ("A line, by the way, is nautical
      talk for rope") and facts (almost 800,000 gallons of water rush over Niagara
      Falls every second), and characters' names emphasize the text's tall-tale
      quality (e.g., Ever and Ima Nicefolk, Stoke and Blaze Firepit). This genial,
      at times suspenseful, caper wraps up with a note about the real Vin Fiz, and
      Farnsworth's drawings dramatize the climactic scenes. Ages 7-up. (Feb.)
      Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. School Library Journal
      Gr 3-5-Cussler's first children's book is a tribute to an airplane that
      crossed the United States in 1911. It is the tale of Casey and Lacey
      Nicefolk, who receive a gift from a hired hand that allows them to make
      their toys real and life-sized. First the twins make a tractor for their
      parents' farm, and then they use the magic to create an airplane designed by
      the Wright brothers that they call Vin Fiz. They decide to fly across the
      country to New York. On the way, they rescue townspeople who have been
      turned into gold-mining slaves by an evil man, keep a steamboat from
      crashing into a barge, stop a runaway train, and rescue two girls from going
      over Niagara Falls in a boat. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a lack of
      characterization as well as problems with gender stereotypes. Lacey, the
      female twin, is never the hero in the adventures. The writing is stilted and
      the story fails to come to life even though the situations have the
      potential to be exciting.-Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green
      Lake, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

      Terri Pascal
      In order to discover new lands, one must be willing to
      lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Anonymous

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