The Adventures of Jo Schmo: Dinos Are Forever
Hooray hooray! Girls who have been waiting for a laugh-out-loud, non-stop action girl superhero book are in luck. Fourth-grader Jo Schmo comes from a long line of crime fighters so when a mysterious package arrives with a superhero cape and a note, she has someone to turn to: Grandpa Joe who had 35 years as a sheriff fighting crime. Turns out the cape is from her stinky Uncle George (she has an Uncle George?) and the note inside reads "I am retiring from my life as s superhero and have enclosed my cape. Use it well." Hmmm... what use could a 4th grader have for a superhero cape?
The answer comes from deep in the lab of Dr. Dastardly, mad scientist. "Why are scientists always mad? Why aren't they happy or at least mildly amused?" Perhaps the sniffing of the chemicals in the test tubes over the years has something to do with it but for Dr. Dastardly it was the day he stubbed his toe on a table leg that made him mad and that plus the test tube sniffing.. well, the toe plus the brain equals mad. Now, Dr. Dastardly has been busy in the lab inventing a Reanimator Laminator. His plan... to take over the world beginning with the city of San Francisco.
The chapters alternate between Jo growing in superhero knowledge and taking bathroom breaks from school to fight local criminals and Dr. Dastardly with his able assistant, Pete, who responds like Pavlov's dog to the sound of Mwah-ha-ha-ha. Armed with the Reanimator Laminator this evil duo heads to the Museum of Natural History to animate a dino or two. Their plan is to harness the dino power to overcome the citizens of San Fran.
The comedic timing in this book is just spot on. Jo searches for some lofty thoughts to be able to fly and fails. The criminals head to the abandoned business warehouse area where all evil criminals go to hide out after their dastardly deeds.
Non-stop action, twists and turns, a crush on Tom, Dick and Harry, a Dr. who laughs his evil laugh to get a cup of tea with lemon, shaken not stirred, and a pair of bank robbers who disguise themselves as each other keep the adventure mounting and the fun and silliness winding higher and higher.
I laughed my head off and kept waiting to see what this stand up comedian had up his sleeve in the next chapter. Another fun feature is you flip the book over to read book two in the series, Wyatt Burp Rides Again. Four page chapters keep those pages turning. Perfect for WildThing/Mirette/AnnieOakley and Jokester/Thrillseeking/Party Animal. 105 pages (then flip the book over) Ages 7-11