Be Your Own Duck Commander Willie's Redneck Time Machine by John Luke Robertson is a new book experience for elementary aged readers. For anyone who remembers the popular "choose your own adventure series"- this book is written in the same style. With this interactive book, there are multiple endings based on your responses within the body of the story. The reader will get a different ending which depends on the options chosen when presented with different choices. This is the perfect book for hesitant school aged readers to read on their own.
One thing I would have liked to see changed is the fact that this story is written from the first person point of view of Willie Jess Robertson, the middle aged father of the Robertson family. I would have preferred to see this story written from John Luke's point of view as I feel kids will be able to identify more with a young boy than a middle aged man with a wife and five kids. Especially in this first person point of view, I feel the choices would have been more "real" or meaningful if they were from the perspective of a kid. A ten year old boy reading this book won't have the same parental instinct to follow a child across time. A young boy would feel more ties to a story where he was looking for his dad or a best friend. Nor will he care at all about his "wife's" birthday and finding a gift- which is backdrop for the beginning of the story.
I think adults may appreciate the 1980s and 1980s musical references as well- more than children. Young readers- the intended audience, will most likely skip over the cultural 80s and 90s references and cliches. As far as the title, using the expression "Redneck" is too dated and too cliche. Its just my opinion, but the title does not seem to be a good fit for a book. This book is highly tied to popular culture and media, and readers who aren't fluent in popular media, movies and music will probably not be able to really get into this book. The time travel concept as well as the outhouse portal is an interesting concept. There are thematic parallels with the re-introduced science fiction series, "Dr. Who"' There are even references to Dr. Who and other popular television programs within the book. Overall, this book doesn't qualify as "literature". If you are looking for a Newberry award winning medal title, look elsewhere. If you want a quick read for a reluctant independent reader, this book is a good choice for some entertainment. As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.
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