Double the Danger and Zero Zucchini
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published September 22, 2020
About Double the Danger and Zero Zucchini
Books aren’t supposed to be dangerous. Are they?
Alex Harmon prefers running over sitting still reading. But when his aunt offers to pay him to point out the boring parts in her children’s book, he figures it’s an easy way to make ten bucks. The problem is that her book is about a grumpy frog and a prize-winning zucchini. It doesn’t have only a few boring pages…the whole thing is a lost cause.
br>Alex gives his aunt some ideas to help her out—like adding danger and suspense. But books can’t just be interesting. They also have to be believable. Soon Alex recruits his friends to help him act out scenes so he can describe all the important details. He’s even getting plot twists from a mysterious stranger (who might also be a ghost). Too late, Alex discovers that being a real-life stunt double for a fictional character can land you in terrible trouble—even if your friends are laughing their heads off!
You know that wonderful feeling you get when you need a really good story to pull you out of a really terrible week, and you find exactly the right one and it somehow makes your life so much better? This was my experience with DOUBLE THE DANGER AND ZERO ZUCCHINI.
I was having a really rough week. My cat had surgery, and I had my own health issues. I wasn’t sleeping much. I really didn’t feel like reading, but I didn’t feel like doing anything else, either. So I picked up this book hoping for hilarity and miracles, and it absolutely delivered.
First off, I was intrigued by the opening– we learn about a famous book that had a difficult beginning. And we meet Alex, a goofy, determined kid who doesn’t have a lot of faith in his own imagination and has a whole lot of trouble sitting still. He gets roped into helping his aunt fix her very boring book, and soon he and his friends are off testing scene ideas and chasing down a helpful writing ghost. I loved Alex’s friends and the relationships he forms with members of the senior center. This is one of those books that keeps you laughing and reminds you of the power of community to help one another and family to stick by each other. It’s packed with spunky characters and adventure and absolutely full of heart. It was exactly the book I needed to read.
I also love that the story championed audiobooks as an alternative way to read and that the crafty librarian is a hero, too. I think readers who enjoy funny stories and powerful friendships will love DOUBLE THE DANGER AND ZERO ZUCCHINI.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Alex’s friends are Latinx.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Alex and his friends joke that his neighbor’s house has a ghost.
Alex and his friends create a model for the final battle in his aunt’s story and discuss what kind of injuries it might cause the characters.
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