How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization
By Daniel Pinkwater
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618594443, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The old powers try to come back, and the planet is plunged into chaos, and civilization is destroyed, and it gets all violent and evil...the old legends tell that a hero...with the sacred turtle, always...
Los Angeles, California.
Neddie Wentworthstein is the guy with the turtle.
Sandor Eucalyptus is the guy with the jellybean.
Sholmos Bunyip wants the turtle...and he'll stop at nothing to get it.
This is the story of how Neddie, three good friends, a shaman, a ghost, and a little maneuver known as the French substitution determine the fate of the world.
Daniel Pinkwater is crazy about writing, and has been trying to learn how to do it for fifty years. He has written about a hundred books, all but two or three of them good. People who own radios may know Daniel Pinkwater as a popular commentator and children’s book reviewer on National Public Radio. At one time, he lived in Los Angeles, went to a fancy private school with the children of movie stars, and ate in The Hat numerous times. He lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson River Valley.
...plenty of funny lines and scenes, though, and fans of Pinkwater will probably enjoy this messy, entertaining enterprise." Booklist, ALA
"The author creates secondary roles as interesting as the starring characters. Even if there were no quest at the heart of the tale (and there is a good one) this would be a highly entertaining road tripthanks to Pinkwater’s one-of-a-kind comic sensibility and his uncanny ability to access the language and mindset of boys." Publishers Weekly, Starred
This amiable, old-fashioned adventure saga by the droll and prolific Pinkwater is a lot of fun to read, full of unexpected plot twists, LA atmosphere, and goofy names.
"Ned's compelling sense of wonder and delight at each new sight or encounter positively propels his account of the cross-country journey along." Kirkus Reviews
The first-person narrative's relaxed pace leaves ample room for Pinkwater's affectionate descriptions of the old movie house, the doughnut shop (where certain extraterrestrial fat men make a cameo appearance), the La Brea tar pits, and other interesting landmark of Neddie's L.A. neighborhood. Readers looking for a nail-biting thriller won't find it here; but those who do get drawn into Pinkwater's portrait of old Hollywood, embellished with loopy supernatural intrigue, will devour it like a double-chocolate doughnut.
"The title of this book ought to give you an idea of its goofy wonderfulness....What makes this book so delightful-apart from the zaniness of the storyline--is the author's lively, humane wit." The Wall Street Journal
"Pinkwater, master of nostalgia-tinged satire (or is it satire-tinged nostalgia?), sets this very funny encomium to the '40s in a swath of America stretching from Chicago to L.A....Neddie's pitch-perfect rendition of that '40s voice-- a tad formal, a smidgen hardboiled, faintly tongue-in-cheek -- should charm even the most jaded 12-year-old." The Washington Post
"Fans of Daniel Pinkwater’s laugh-out-loud fiction will savor the tale of Neddie Wentworthstein, whose family moves to Los Angeles from Chicago. Invite kids to check out the novel’s Web site (www.pinkwater.com/theneddiad) for a peek at original draftsperfect for a lesson on revision." Instructor, Scholastic, Inc.
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org