Hello There, Do You Still Know Me?
By: Laurie B. Arnold
Publisher: Prospecta Press
Publication Date: March 2017
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
There are two things that can be difficult for readers: One, finding a title that is so magical and fun that you can't put it down (AKA: Harry Potter); and, two, coming across a sequel that is as good or even better than the first in the series. Well...look no more. For those who missed out on Hello There, We've Been Waiting for You, author Laurie B. Arnold has not only "followed up" with that title in a big way, but also created a sequel where the characters are even more fun; the location is even cooler; and the magical TV (that's right, I said TV) is even more awesome than before.
This time out, we begin with Madison McGee enjoying the last two weeks of her summer vacation in Jaco, Costa Rica, visiting Rosalie Claire and her husband, Thomas. Thomas is taking the time to teach Madison how to surf those Costa Rican waves. (This upsets her dog, Leroy, by the way, who howls like crazy when she's out on the "high seas"). For these last two weeks Madison's best buds, Noah and Violet, have joined her in the sunshine. Unfortunately, their fun starts to slip away when Madison's Grandma, Florida, arrives in Costa Rica sick as a dog. In fact, she has some sort of mystery illness that no one knows how to cure. Now, for those who are unaware, Rosalie Claire has a magic fanny pack. But as of late, that fanny pack has gone "dead," and there is only one person who knows how to bring the magic back. Problem is, that person passed away five years ago. Grandma Daisy was her name, and apparently she was the owner of a special piece of amber that could recharge the fanny pack and make it work again.
So...what will the kids do in order to save Grandma Florida? That's right...they will get in a time machine and head back to Grandma Daisy to see how the "magic" can be revived in time to save Florida's life. Of course, you can't just build a time machine. Thankfully, in Madison's world there exists a television set called the MegaPix 6000. These amazingly bright kids use that TV to create a mode of transportation that shoots them back in time. But what happens on their journey is way more than they hoped for, considering that special piece of amber was stolen long ago and there's a criminal out there that needs to be found. If he can't be tracked down, Grandma Florida's time is sure to run out.
The characters in this series are a whole lot of fun, guys and gals. This is the perfect book, according to the 'experts,' for ages 9-12. But I must say, parents and people who get a true kick out of magic and adventure will also be enchanted by what this author has put together. Not only will you want that TV, but you will run to the nearest Humane Society and search for a Leroy of your very own.
Quill says: This sequel rocks. The toughest part in all this will be waiting for Book III and the return of Madison McGee.