HyperLinkz Book 6: Road Blog (HyperLinkz Series)

Overview

Who Knew Getting Lost Could Be So Much Fun–
or So Dangerous?

When the Websters leave Normal, Illinois, for a family holiday, Austin and Ashley get pulled right back into the World Wide Web–and this time, Mr. and Mrs. Webster get sucked inside the Internet, too! What began as a relaxing getaway turns into a wacky road trip when they set out to find Lost Lake Resort. Soon, the Websters are stumbling through a ...

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Overview

Who Knew Getting Lost Could Be So Much Fun–
or So Dangerous?

When the Websters leave Normal, Illinois, for a family holiday, Austin and Ashley get pulled right back into the World Wide Web–and this time, Mr. and Mrs. Webster get sucked inside the Internet, too! What began as a relaxing getaway turns into a wacky road trip when they set out to find Lost Lake Resort. Soon, the Websters are stumbling through a long lineup of lost links, like LostKitty-dot-com, the Lost Sea cave, a long-lost Inca city, and a lost round-the-world flight.

Ah, but this is no vacation, any more! Because the kids’ old rival Mattie Blankenskrean and her assistant Mr. Z still want to wipe out truth on the Internet, and a final showdown with the two drags the whole Webster family into real danger. Can the Websters escape Mattie and find their way back to Normal…before they’re deleted for good?

Check out the “HyperLinkz Guide to Safe Surfing” for cool true trivia and Web backgrounders!

Don’t miss any of the exciting HyperLinkz adventures!
Book 1: Digital Disaster
Book 2: Fudge Factor
Book 3: Web Jam
Book 4: Spam Alert
Book 5: Hack Attack
Book 6: Road Blog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578567522
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/19/2005
  • Series: HyperLinkz Series , #6
  • Pages: 122
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Elmer is the author of 38 youth novels, including the HyperLinkz series, as well as the Young Underground, Adventures Down Under, Promise of Zion and AstroKids series. A certified teacher, he speaks at schools all over the U.S. He and his wife Ronda are the parents of three young adults. They live in Washington state.
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Read an Excerpt

Introducing…Road Blog
Evelyne Webster: Hello. I have to admit this is a little odd for me, talking to Austin and Ashley’s friends like this–I mean, directly, that is. As their parents we’ve never… Well, this is slightly awkward and… Goodness, Tom, why don’t you start?
Tom Webster: All right. Fine. This isn’t rocket science, Evy. All we do is type the words, and they show up on the screen. But we’d better get to the point quickly.
Evelyne: You tell them, then. You’re doing fine.
Tom: All right. The point is, we’re concerned about our kids. Well, maybe not as much about Ashley. She’s involved in the Chiddix Junior High soccer team and gymnastics, even tumbles around the house. But Austin! That’s another story.
Evelyne: Be fair, Tom. You don’t have to bring up that mix-up at school with the vandalism. You know the principal discovered someone else did it.
Tom: I know. That’s all behind us.
Evelyne: And you have to mention the good things about Austin too. Give people a balanced picture. He’s a good boy.
Tom: Of course he’s a good boy. But lately he always has his nose in a computer screen, and half the time I have no idea what he’s doing. So his mother and I came up with a great idea for something to help us really bond as a family–an old-
fashioned family vacation. A road trip to Lost Lake Resort up in Michigan, where my folks took me when I was little. Boy, did I have a fantastic time back then!
Evelyne: You were two years old.
Tom: Well, my dad took lots of pictures. Anyway, the point is that we want Ashley and Austin to experience a family vacation like I did when I was a kid. We figured we’d have a lot of quality time in the car playing “I Spy” and singing songs as we cruise up Highway 51 to Rockford, across into Wisconsin, and straight north to…
Evelyne: Maybe they don’t want to hear all the directions, dear. I think they’ll understand when you explain Lost Lake is in upper Michigan.
Tom: Right. So we’re getting close to Michigan, and what happens? Austin isn’t looking out the window at the scenery. He isn’t talking to his sister or to us. He’s working on some kind of “blob” thing on his laptop.
Evelyne: That’s blog, Tom. He explained that to us, remember?
Tom: Sure, I remember. It’s his Web log, which is just a fancy name for a diary. But the point is, he’s been spending too much time on the couch, too much time sitting, not enough time out doing what kids his age should be doing–running and biking and stuff. You know, things we did when we were kids.
Evelyne: And you didn’t watch TV when you were young? What about Lassie and Rin Tin Tin and the Mickey Mouse Club?
Tom: Okay, but I didn’t take the TV with me on vacation. And I probably shouldn’t have let Austin bring that laptop. It’s only going to get lost or stolen. Although, come to think of it, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Evelyne: Tom! You’d better not let him hear you say that.
Tom: Just kidding, okay? But seriously, this vacation is going to be all about togetherness. And I’m going to pry our son away from that computer if it’s the last thing I do.

Chapter 1
The Search Is On

“I’m going to get him away from that computer if it’s the last thing I do.” Mattie Blankenskrean took another sip of her naturally sweetened avocado-apricot purée and leaned back in her office chair. Why had it been so hard to shut down a twelve-year-old boy and his sister?
Or maybe he was thirteen. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that he had found ways to get inside the Web and threaten her work. By her count he’d been Inside–where he had no business being–thirteen times in the past month. Mostly to game sites and such. But goodness, it was dangerous for a child of his age to be doing such a thing! It could even affect his health, and she couldn’t let that happen.
Besides, if the Normal Council on Civil Correctness was ever going to succeed in its goal, it needed to convince this child–and his sister, though she didn’t travel online nearly as often now–how misguided he really was. Either that or just plain keep him and his sister off the Web. Good thing Raven was working for her.
Raven Zawistokowski, or Mr. Z, as the children in his classes liked to call him. The perfect man to help her erase myths, superstitions, and religious foolishness from the World Wide Web. Mattie got up to check on him. Sitting in another room of their small office, he never took his eyes from his oversize plasma monitor.
“You’d better come take a look at this,” he told her, taking a sip from his mug as she walked over. “You’re going to like it.”
Did he notice that his coffee had turned bitter and cold, now hours after dinnertime? Probably not. She had never minded working late either. Big dreams call for big sacrifices.
“Look. Right there.” He pointed to one of the three open windows on his computer screen. He could keep track of several Web sites at once, the way a circus juggler keeps a chair, a bat, and a bowling ball in the air at the same time. “A Web site about Paul of Tarsus, or Saul as he was first called.”
The site looked familiar to her, but she listened as Z explained.
“See? This new program lets me make changes from right here in the office, without our having to actually visit sites the way you did before.”
Mattie lifted her eyebrows. Visiting Web sites in person was her thing, and the means of getting there, her invention. What was he saying?
“Nothing wrong with the way you did it, mind you.” His smile put her at ease. “I’m sure we’ll visit online again. But if you really want to keep up with someone, even stay one step ahead, this is the way to go. It’s much quicker than physically stepping into the Web site to find them.”
She looked more closely at the monitor. Z’s program did look pretty advanced. A search window let you look for ­people by name, the kind of site they might be in, even what they looked like.
“And you think you can find him this way?” She was almost afraid to ask.
“Absolutely.” He leaned back and crossed his arms. “I’ll know the second Austin Webster or his sister steps inside the Web. And then–”
“And then…” She raised her finger in a warning. “You’ll escort him–and anyone else–directly out, without hurting him.”
“Of course.” He smiled again. “I like kids. You know I’d never do anything to put them in danger. In fact, that’s what we’re all about here at NCCC, right? Protecting the public from itself?”
Mattie glanced up at that same saying on the wall plaque she’d hung when she had opened the office three years ago. At that time it had just been her, a lonely crusader working be­hind the scenes to make the world a better place. Now, with a little help…
“And here–see?” Mr. Z pointed at two side-by-side windows on his jumbo screen. “Before is on the left. After is on the right.”
She glanced at the site about religious superstition, one of her favorite subjects to fix. This site was www.paulsjourneys.net.
“On the left you see the legend of how this fellow Saul was on his way to Damascus when somehow God appeared to him, he was blinded, and he turned into an intolerant religious fanatic.”
Mattie nodded. No doubt the Web site’s owner would appreciate how Z was clearing up the story, adjusting it so it was more rational and not so offensive to those who, like her, weren’t religious. After all, hurting people’s feelings was bad enough, but saying people needed God, well… Who could have a problem with their changing things a bit?
“And then on the right, here’s my new version, what we believe must have really happened. Saul’s out in the heat too long, looks straight up at the sun by accident, gets really dizzy, and is temporarily blinded. End of story. Period. All sorts of legends grew out of that simple little accident.
“And see? I’ve even added a couple links to some cool sunglasses ads. Nice touch, eh?”
He moved the computer mouse so the pointer highlighted the first window, and then he hit Delete with a wave of his hand.
“All gone,” he told her with a satisfied smirk. “Now anyone who checks out that site will learn what really must have happened. Without the silly religious myth.”
“Good work.” Mattie nodded and turned back to her desk. Perfect, in fact. But she still had one problem. Or, rather, two.
“You’ll let me know when you locate the Websters, won’t you?”
“I’m on it.”

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First Chapter

Hyperlinkz Book 6: Road Blog


By Robert Elmer

Random House

Robert Elmer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1578567521


Chapter One

Introducing…Road Blog
Evelyne Webster: Hello. I have to admit this is a little odd for me, talking to Austin and Ashley's friends like this–I mean, directly, that is. As their parents we've never… Well, this is slightly awkward and… Goodness, Tom, why don't you start?
Tom Webster: All right. Fine. This isn't rocket science, Evy. All we do is type the words, and they show up on the screen. But we'd better get to the point quickly.
Evelyne: You tell them, then. You're doing fine.
Tom: All right. The point is, we're concerned about our kids. Well, maybe not as much about Ashley. She's involved in the Chiddix Junior High soccer team and gymnastics, even tumbles around the house. But Austin! That's another story.
Evelyne: Be fair, Tom. You don't have to bring up that
mix-up at school with the vandalism. You know the principal discovered someone else did it.
Tom: I know. That's all behind us.
Evelyne: And you have to mention the good things about Austin too. Give people a balanced picture. He's a good boy.
Tom: Of course he's a good boy. But lately he always has his nose in a computer screen, and half the time I have no idea what he's doing. So his mother and I came up with a great idea for something to help us really bond as a family–an old-
fashioned family vacation. A road trip to Lost Lake Resort up in Michigan, where my folks took me when I was little. Boy, did I have a fantastic time back then!
Evelyne: You were two years old.
Tom: Well, my dad took lots of pictures. Anyway, the point is that we want Ashley and Austin to experience a family vacation like I did when I was a kid. We figured we'd have a lot of quality time in the car playing “I Spy” and singing songs as we cruise up Highway 51 to Rockford, across into Wisconsin, and straight north to…
Evelyne: Maybe they don't want to hear all the directions, dear. I think they'll understand when you explain Lost Lake is in upper Michigan.
Tom: Right. So we're getting close to Michigan, and what happens? Austin isn't looking out the window at the scenery. He isn't talking to his sister or to us. He's working on some kind of “blob” thing on his laptop.
Evelyne: That's blog, Tom. He explained that to us, remember?
Tom: Sure, I remember. It's his Web log, which is just a fancy name for a diary. But the point is, he's been spending too much time on the couch, too much time sitting, not enough time out doing what kids his age should be doing–running and biking and stuff. You know, things we did when we were kids.
Evelyne: And you didn't watch TV when you were young? What about Lassie and Rin Tin Tin and the Mickey Mouse Club?
Tom: Okay, but I didn't take the TV with me on vacation. And I probably shouldn't have let Austin bring that laptop. It's only going to get lost or stolen. Although, come to think of it, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.
Evelyne: Tom! You'd better not let him hear you say that.
Tom: Just kidding, okay? But seriously, this vacation is going to be all about togetherness. And I'm going to pry our son away from that computer if it's the last thing I do.

Chapter 1
The Search Is On

“I'm going to get him away from that computer if it's the last thing I do.” Mattie Blankenskrean took another sip of her naturally sweetened avocado-apricot purée and leaned back in her office chair. Why had it been so hard to shut down a twelve-year-old boy and his sister?
Or maybe he was thirteen. It didn't matter. What mattered was that he had found ways to get inside the Web and threaten her work. By her count he'd been Inside–where he had no business being–thirteen times in the past month. Mostly to game sites and such. But goodness, it was dangerous for a child of his age to be doing such a thing! It could even affect his health, and she couldn't let that happen.
Besides, if the Normal Council on Civil Correctness was ever going to succeed in its goal, it needed to convince this child–and his sister, though she didn't travel online nearly as often now–how misguided he really was. Either that or just plain keep him and his sister off the Web. Good thing Raven was working for her.
Raven Zawistokowski, or Mr. Z, as the children in his classes liked to call him. The perfect man to help her erase myths, superstitions, and religious foolishness from the World Wide Web. Mattie got up to check on him. Sitting in another room of their small office, he never took his eyes from his oversize plasma monitor.
“You'd better come take a look at this,” he told her, taking a sip from his mug as she walked over. “You're going to like it.”
Did he notice that his coffee had turned bitter and cold, now hours after dinnertime? Probably not. She had never minded working late either. Big dreams call for big sacrifices.
“Look. Right there.” He pointed to one of the three open windows on his computer screen. He could keep track of several Web sites at once, the way a circus juggler keeps a chair, a bat, and a bowling ball in the air at the same time. “A Web site about Paul of Tarsus, or Saul as he was first called.”
The site looked familiar to her, but she listened as Z explained.
“See? This new program lets me make changes from right here in the office, without our having to actually visit sites the way you did before.”
Mattie lifted her eyebrows. Visiting Web sites in person was her thing, and the means of getting there, her invention. What was he saying?
“Nothing wrong with the way you did it, mind you.” His smile put her at ease. “I'm sure we'll visit online again. But if you really want to keep up with someone, even stay one step ahead, this is the way to go. It's much quicker than physically stepping into the Web site to find them.”
She looked more closely at the monitor. Z's program did look pretty advanced. A search window let you look for ­people by name, the kind of site they might be in, even what they looked like.
“And you think you can find him this way?” She was almost afraid to ask.
“Absolutely.” He leaned back and crossed his arms. “I'll know the second Austin Webster or his sister steps inside the Web. And then–”
“And then…” She raised her finger in a warning. “You'll escort him–and anyone else–directly out, without hurting him.”
“Of course.” He smiled again. “I like kids. You know I'd never do anything to put them in danger. In fact, that's what we're all about here at NCCC, right? Protecting the public from itself?”
Mattie glanced up at that same saying on the wall plaque she'd hung when she had opened the office three years ago. At that time it had just been her, a lonely crusader working be­hind the scenes to make the world a better place. Now, with a little help…
“And here–see?” Mr. Z pointed at two side-by-side windows on his jumbo screen. “Before is on the left. After is on the right.”
She glanced at the site about religious superstition, one of her favorite subjects to fix. This site was paulsjourneys.net.
“On the left you see the legend of how this fellow Saul was on his way to Damascus when somehow God appeared to him, he was blinded, and he turned into an intolerant religious fanatic.”
Mattie nodded. No doubt the Web site's owner would appreciate how Z was clearing up the story, adjusting it so it was more rational and not so offensive to those who, like her, weren't religious. After all, hurting people's feelings was bad enough, but saying people needed God, well… Who could have a problem with their changing things a bit?
“And then on the right, here's my new version, what we believe must have really happened. Saul's out in the heat too long, looks straight up at the sun by accident, gets really dizzy, and is temporarily blinded. End of story. Period. All sorts of legends grew out of that simple little accident.
“And see? I've even added a couple links to some cool sunglasses ads. Nice touch, eh?”
He moved the computer mouse so the pointer highlighted the first window, and then he hit Delete with a wave of his hand.
“All gone,” he told her with a satisfied smirk. “Now anyone who checks out that site will learn what really must have happened. Without the silly religious myth.”
“Good work.” Mattie nodded and turned back to her desk. Perfect, in fact. But she still had one problem. Or, rather, two.
“You'll let me know when you locate the Websters, won't you?”
“I'm on it.”



Excerpted from Hyperlinkz Book 6: Road Blog by Robert Elmer Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    delightful entry

    Worried about his preadolescent son Austin spending every free moment on the Internet, Tom Webster decides on a family trip to the same spot he ¿enjoyed¿ as a two year old. Thus Tom his wife Evelyne, their two children Austin and Ashley, and their niece ¿Aunt¿ Jessi (same age as their kids) leave Normal, Illinois to drive to the Lost Lake Resort in Upper Michigan. At the same time, Raven ¿Mr. Z¿ Zawistokowski and his boss Mattie Blankenskrean discuss keeping the Webster kids out of the net and cleansing websites; for instance, just visit a site on Paul¿s journey from Damascus with sunglasses. Their plan is to catch the kids when they go in line and take away their computer that seems to enable them to do so. --- The three pre-teens notice the net has been acting strange lately. However, this time they visit live Austin¿s web site with their parents along for the first time followed by Mr. Z tracking them. Though Mattie has warned him not to harm any of the Websters, Mr. Z believes the best solution is Alt-Ctrl-Del and if that fails to cleanse the problem, delete the Webster quintet.--- The sixth entry in Robert Elmer¿s wonderfully creative Hyperlinkz tales, ROAD BLOG is a delightful entry starring the intrepid trio, the two villains and in a more active role the Webster parents. The story line is fast-paced as readers visit Lewis and Clark and other websites along side Austin, Ashley, and Jessi. Middle school kids will appreciate this exhilarating stand alone thriller though has links to the previous novels that newcomers will want to read too.--- Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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