Bill Myers Series for Children

Switched

This series for kids is entertaining and funny.  I love the made-up words and the futuristic gadgets that somehow always manage to malfunction to create catastrophe after catastrophe.  Through these catastrophes, TJ learns some life lessons that help shape her into the leader she will become (if we believe Herby and Tuna).  In this book, TJ learns about forgiveness and works on forgiving Hesper (the mean girl from her school).  Fans of Freaky Friday will enjoy this take on switching places with others.  I like the way readers learn about forgiveness in a funny and entertaining way that appeals to kids.

Aaaargh!!!

This is the second book of the TJ and the Time Stumblers series.  Like the other books in this series, the author takes readers from one catastrophe to the next and in the midst of the chaos manages to teach a lesson.  In this book the lesson is cheating and overcoming the temptation to take the easy way out by cheating.  TJ has a unique opportunity to see how the results of her choosing to cheat negatively impact her life so she can make better choices.  For readers, they can learn that cheating might make things easier at the moment, but can have unintended consequences.

These books are all entertaining to read because of the funny experiences, dialogue, and futuristic devices used by Tuna and Herby.  I also like the way Myers plays on contemporary fads and celebrities in a funny way.  Very funny at parts with a good message!

Oops!

This is book three in the TJ and the Time Stumblers series.  I think this series has great appeal for kids because of the silly dialogue, malfunctioning machines, and general chaos.  In the midst of all the catastrophes, Myers manages to convey a different message in each book.  In this book, the message is to say nice things about others.  TJ learns that it is easier to say only nice things about others by only thinking nice things about others.  This stems from viewing others as a unique and special creation of God.

Ho-Ho-Nooo!

This book is my favorite from the series.  All these books offer funny dialogue, silly blunders from Tuna and Herby, catastrophes in TJ’s life, and futuristic devices that never seem to work properly.  In the midst of all the chaos, Myers offers a mini-character lesson.  In this book, as you can imagine, the lesson is the true meaning of Christmas.  Is Christmas about buying a better present than someone else, or can it simply be spending time with the people who matter most?  Myers further complicates things in this book by a real-life challenge of unemployment.

I love the way Myers teaches a lesson in a fun, kid-friendly way.  These books are great for kids or kids-at-heart.

Yikes

It’s a little sad the adventures of TJ, Tuna, and Herby are ending, but this book stays true to the flavor of the other books in this series.  Tuna and Herby offer up the same misguided “help” that results in unending catastrophes while TJ continues to develop into the person she will become.  Similar to the other books, the language in this one is entertaining and silly, the futuristic gadgets are cool, and there is a valuable lesson for TJ to learn.  This lesson is about how a great leader is also a great servant to others.  TJ learns about being a leader while trying to rescue herself and her classmates from an accidental journey to Africa.  Overall, this series offers a lot to readers, especially kids.  I would recommend reading the other titles first so the conclusion of the series is more meaningful.

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