The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen
by M. T. Anderson
Harcourt, 2006

This is a young adult humor/science fiction/adventure novel, the sequel to Whales on Stilts! It is intended for ages of about nine and up, but can certainly be enjoyed by both those younger and those much much older.

We meet again with the young heroes, Jasper Dash (Boy Technocrat), Katie Mulligan (paranormal adventurer), and Lily Gefelty (nothing special). Jasper has recently received a coupon for a free meal at a rustic resort, so they decide to spend a few days camping -- well, camping in Jasper's rocket-powered mini-hotel. When they reach the resort, they find that not only is the coupon a fake, but that a number of other heroes from assorted children's books have also been tricked into attending the resort by means of similar fake coupons, and that at least five of them -- the famous Hooper Quintuplets -- have been kidnapped while on their way to the resort.

Of course, that's not all that's going on. Someone is stealing expensive jewelry and cheap hunting trophies, the Manley Boys are bullying Jasper, the Cutesy Dell Twins are being their usual snotty selves, and attacks of deadly snakes and deadlier hay-fever threaten our heroes. Well Jasper, mostly.

You should read Whales on Stilts! before reading this, but if you enjoy Whales, you will probably enjoy this. It is not quite as delightfully off-the-wall (no mutant invaders trying to destroy the world this time), but it does have the same general sort of over the top silliness, and it is a quick and easy read. This is important, as the plot is nothing special, the jokes wouldn't hold up over a much longer work, and the characters are fairly limited in scope. Which is not to say that the book has no worth other than as a work of humor; aside from being delightfully silly and a fair work of literature-based satire, it does have a bit of character development, some support of meta-cognitive development, and heart-wrenching themes of friendship across variable time-streams.

Pals in Peril
Whales on Stilts! -- The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen -- Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware

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