Beach Party Surf Monkey

illus. by Brooke Allen. 320p. (Welcome to Wonderland: Bk. 2). Random. May 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780553536102.
Gr 4–6—P.T. Wilkie and the crew from Home Sweet Motel return for a second adventure filled with drama, humor, and Hollywood flair. P.T. and his friend Gloria Ortega live in the Wonderland, a Florida beach motel run by P.T.'s grandfather Walt. The owner of the towering new hotel next door wants to buy the Wonderland. P.T. and Gloria hear about a movie being filmed in their neighborhood featuring two teen stars and YouTube performer Kevin the Monkey, and hoping to save the motel from the scheming hotel owner, they pitch the Wonderland as the perfect venue. Between P.T.'s plan and Gloria's business skills, the pair seem to have a chance, but then they encounter a selfish star, trouble from the rival hotel owner's daughter, and the monkey's surfing antics, leading to humorous and dramatic outcomes. The high jinks are nonstop, and the characters are engaging, if lightly sketched. Frequent cartoons and illustrations add to the humor and exaggerated characterizations. Fans of Grabenstein's other books, including several cowritten with James Patterson, will enjoy the humor, the fast-talking protagonist, and the escapades.
VERDICT A quick, funny read, perfect for summer vacation.

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