Science Fair by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Grdankl the Strong, president of Kprshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government. His plan is to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School, located in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington. The rich kids at Hubble cheat by buying their projects every year, and Grdankl's cronies should have no problem selling them his government-corrupting software. But this year, Toby Harbinger, a regular kid with Discount Warehouse shoes, is determined to win the $5,000 prize-even if he has to go up against terrorists to do it. With the help of his best friends, Tamara and Micah, Toby takes on Assistant Principal Paul Parmit, aka "The Armpit", a laser-eyed stuffed owl, and two eBay buyers named Darth and the Wookie who seem to think that the Harrison-Ford-signed BlasTech DL-44 blaster Toby sold them is a counterfeit. What transpires is a hilarious adventure filled with mystery, suspense, and levitating frogs.
I gotta say that I'm really glad I got this as an audio book first because as you can tell from the summary, there's a couple names here that are not exactly the kind that roll off your tongue with ease. Now, I say "first" because the last disc wouldn't play on my portable CD player and I don't know why, so I ended up having to put the book itself on hold and finish it up that way. But at least by that point, I knew how to pronounce everything, having heard the actor pronouncing them the right way on the audio book. Anyway, as for the story itself, it's Dave Barry, so you know it'll be hilarious, which it was! Just from the summary alone, you know that this is not going to be an ordinary read and it's one that should prove to be interesting. Now, it's not much of a mystery as the reader knows who's behind it all from fairly early on in the book but that doesn't really matter because the book is so funny and suspenseful in many other ways. It's a compelling read that's guaranteed not to be found anywhere else. Definitely a must-read!
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