The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One

3.9 34
by Ellis Weiner

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This special edition of The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One also includes a sneak preview of The Templeton Twins Make a Scene: Book Two and a Q&A with the author.

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic


This special edition of The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One also includes a sneak preview of The Templeton Twins Make a Scene: Book Two and a Q&A with the author.

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, I said kidnapped. Wouldn't it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Luckily for you, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn't?!).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This series kickoff takes a while to get going, and not just because it has three prologues and two Chapter Twos. Although 12-year-old twins Abigail and John Templeton headline the story, the most prominent character is the self-satisfied and aggressively intrusive Narrator, whose banter with readers instantly sets a comedic, sarcastic tone (“If you are so terribly, terribly smart, why don’t you write this book? Just fill it in right here”) but also contributes to a slow start. The story, which revolves around (of all things) intellectual property and picks up a third of the way in, follows the twins and their widowed inventor/professor father as he starts a job at the Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology (aka Tick-Tock Tech) and has a run-in with a disgruntled former student. Weiner has an obvious fondness for wordplay (characters include Nanny Nan Noonan and the villainous Dean D. Dean), and he’s at his funniest with the nonsensical “Questions for Review” that end each chapter (“How would the Templeton twins’ lives have been different had they never been born?”). Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9–13. Agent: Paul Bresnick, Paul Bresnick Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"This entertaining series will win over word lovers, mystery and puzzle solvers, fans of gadgets and those who previously had not thought of themselves as readers" - Shelf Awareness, starred review"

This book is for those students who enjoy a little sarcasm with their humor." - Library Media Connection"

This book a) is extraordinarily snarky, b) has glorious illustrations, c) is sure to be a hit, d) all of the above?" -"

The scene-hogging narrator steals the show in this clever series opener." - Kirkus Reviews"

The narrator's antics are one of the book's great charms" - Time Out Chicago Kids, Best New Kit Lit Series of 2012"

The narrator plays as big a role (or bigger) as any of the characters, constantly wisecracking, setting up scenes and occasionally berating the reader." -"

The most prominent character is the self-satisfied and aggressively intrusive Narrator, whose banter with readers instantly sets a comedic, sarcastic tone" - Publishers Weekly"

Readers... will welcome this and the duo's future exploits." - Booklist" up the story's humor as well as highlighting the twins' ingenuity." - The Horn Book"

If you've got smart (or maybe smart-mouthed) kids, they'll get a kick out of The Templeton Twins" -'s GeekDads"

Anyone with a sly sense of humor is sure to love this book and cry out for "More, please!" " - Reading Today"

An irresistible start to a planned series" - Common Sense Media"

An entertaining start to a new series." - School Library Journal"

A rip roaring fun read that is a must share." - Shannon Messenger/Marvelous Middle Grade Monday"

A page-turning and funny tale." -Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review"

A hilarious and clever adventure " -"

A great book for kids who love puzzles and humor. Weiner's narrators steal the show with their use of sarcasm and wit." - Halley Pucker, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

VOYA - Sharon Blumberg
This unusual but creative title reads as if the narrator is a sarcastic but clever seventh grade student. It deals with a university professor who is coping with the death of his wife from an extended illness. He has a set of fraternal twins named Abigail and John who are both sad, but deal with their mother's death in a healthy manner. The twins are creative and intelligent, just like their dad. They prove they are indeed a force to reckon with for any villain. Their father decides for various reasons that it would be best to move to another university. Once he moves, a culprit from his past confronts the professor about an invention. This villain opens up a can of terror, humor, and suspense all in one package. This contemporary, humorous fiction title reads like a graphic novel because illustrations are interspersed throughout the story. After each chapter, the author includes questions for review. These will linger long after the reader is finished reading. This is a clever start to a new series readers will want to follow. Reviewer: Sharon Blumberg
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Who can resist two lovable, clever twins like the Templetons? In Ellis Weiner's newest book, John and Abigail Templeton, age twelve, have a brilliant father whose absentminded professor habits are thoroughly charming. Their father was widowed a year earlier, and there will always be a hole in the family's heart. The twins are creative and inventive and determined to keep their father from getting lonely. Years earlier, Professor Templeton taught a young man named Dean D. Dean in class. In this scenario, Dean reappears and accuses Professor Templeton of stealing the patent for the Personal Helicopter. Soon the Templeton twins are kidnapped by Dean and his own twin brother, who lock the children up in basement miles away. In a fun twist of fate, the Templeton twins rescue each other and endear themselves to the reader simultaneously. Young readers will enjoy meeting the Templeton twins through Jeremy Holme's wonderfully crafted illustrations and Ellis Weiner's cleverly written text.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—John and Abigail, 12, want a dog and know just how to approach their professor-inventor father: build an ingenious gadget to get his attention… which is a challenge, since Dad has been a bit distracted since their mother's recent death. Their device works, and the family's life improves dramatically with the addition of a "ridiculous" dog. Then one of Mr. Templeton's former students, Dean D. Dean, claims that the professor stole one of his inventions. He kidnaps John and Abigail in retaliation, but, being more of a buffoon than a villain, he's no match for the twins' resourcefulness and their father's stalwart integrity. Dean's escape sets the stage for book two. Weiner surprises and engages readers; the siblings' escape from their kidnapper is drawn as a flow chart, and Abigail's cryptic crossword hobby will interest puzzle fans. Comparisons to Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins) are inevitable, but this story feels fresh with a loving family of clever yet appealingly normal characters at its heart. Its narrator, like Snicket's, interrupts with definitions and additional information. However, Weiner's vain and snarky narrator is an important character, asking humorous review questions at the end of each chapter ("Can you spell moustache?") and regularly dissing readers ("Don't embarrass yourself."). An entertaining start to a new series.—M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
Kirkus Reviews
The scene-hogging narrator steals the show in this clever series opener. Since the mother of 12-year-old twins Abigail and John recently died, their father, professor Elton Templeton, has decided to take his knack for inventing to Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology (aka Tick-Tock Tech). At the professor's opening lecture, disgruntled former student Dean D. Dean accuses him of stealing his idea for the Personal One-Man Helicopter. When the professor denies Dean's involvement in his invention, Dean (with the help of his own twin brother, Dan) kidnaps the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog, hoping to retrieve the device as ransom. How this caper, accompanied by mechanical-like illustrations, will end matters less than how the narrator will report it. Nearly a character himself, the self-important, over-the-top narrator takes pleasure in admonishing his readers ("If you don't remember me saying that, I urge you to turn back to Chapter 2 (the first Chapter 2) and refresh your memory, because I distinctly remember saying it, and I remember you reading it"). Occasionally tedious, his end-of-chapter "Questions for Review" emphasize humor--and his ego. Also adding to the fun, particularly for word buffs, is Abigail's use of cryptic crossword puzzles. A tender ending to this otherwise comical story acknowledges the family's grief. Templeton Twins hidden in integrand function (5, 3). Read it to solve it! (Fiction. 9-13)

Product Details

Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
Templeton Twins Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
13 MB
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Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

Ellis Weiner is a contributor to the New Yorker and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. He is also the author of several books, including Yiddish with Dick and Jane, which he co-authored with his wife. He lives in southern California.
Jeremy Holmes is the creative mind behind Mutt Ink, a graphic design studio. His first book, There Was an Old Lady (also published by Chronicle), was awarded BolognaRazzi's Opera Prima award at the 2010 Bologna Book Fair. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is for anyone between 7 and 107. It is a great book, and the "narrarator" reminds me a lot of Scott Kelby, another humorous writer. However, he writes computer books, not realistic fiction. This book is funny and has a ton of action! It so has some creativity in it ... thats also funny. At one point in the book, the narrarator almost completely randomly introduces a recipe for meatloaf! If the father hadnt given someone a failing grade, none of this would ever have happened.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AND IDEA by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes starts a creatively new way for middle school kids to love reading an adventure with humor, while learning all kinds of things without feeling 'schooled'!  As an educator, I was told that ALL children's books should be interesting to adults or kids won't like them either.  Well, I started reading this book last night, and laughed my way completely through it in no time!  Know just the kids who'll love this book, and plan to share it immediately! The 'Narrator' of this book 'talks' to the reader as though they were side by side and just conversing as friends.  The 12 year old Templeton twin, John and Abigail, their dog and widowed dad share thrilling adventures with the reader---in this case kidnapping.  But at the same time, the reader gets intelligent and numerous lessons in vocabulary, idioms, cryptic crosswords, cooking, reading charts, how to cook a meatloaf, and even how to handle many emotions.  But most importantly, all this is done within an excellently constructed laugh out loud mystery for kids!!! This is the first in this Templeton Twins series for middle schoolers.  I believe these books may well be the next great kids book craze.  With great illustrations, thrilling fun adventures, and a 'Narrator' to become the readers new BFF.  Actually seems possible to read this book as though 'texting through books'----texting in a way parents and kids will both approve of doing, while having fun with learning!!!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not get this book on here but i got it on paperback. This seems to be that best book in the whole wide world! Its interesting, funny, and also mysterious. If yiur parents are letting you buy a book, I RECOMEND THIS ONE! IT IS JUST SO GOOD!!!!!! -Hope yiu love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in one night. Funny, hilarious, and unique!
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
The Templeton house is a sad place. The Templeton twins, John and Abigail are dealing with the death of their mother. Their father, Professor Elton Templeton was depressed and didn’t want to work on his inventions anymore. Things got a little brighter when the twins convinced their dad to get a “ridiculous” dog named Cassie. One day, Professor Templeton goes to work and when he comes home, he announces that they are moving to Tick-Tock Tech so he can work and invent there. The one problem is that a former “F” student of the professor is out for revenge and hatches a plot to kidnap the twins and the dog. It’s a good thing the twins are as smart as their dad! Fist off, I loved the narrator of the book. He is sarcastic and funny (he really dislikes Cassie too, that’s why she’s a “ridiculous dog”). The book is narrated kind of like Lemony Snicket, but I think it is also different enough. I like how the narrator kind of quizzes you at the end of each chapter. The twins have good personalities and are likeable. I really like the illustration style in the book. I thought it was very unique. templeton3The chapters are short and with all the illustrations, I think it would be a good read for younger kids or reluctant readers. There is enough action, mystery and humor to keep me turning the pages. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. **NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is enthralling and nicely done. Ellis Weiner reminds me of Lemony Snicket. My only complaint is that the illistrations were to small for a nook book. OVERALL,GREAT BOOK!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was outrageously funny. My little bro said it was dumb, but me and my sis laughed for hours. I especialy liked the Narrator.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great funny read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a grandmother, I am not exactly the target audience for this book, but I loved it anyway. It's a good story that keeps moving with a sly wit that draws the reader in very skillfully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a cute idea. I think at times the narrorator did get a little annoying but the idea and story was fun. I am a 27 year old so I'm sure kids would probably love it. I would read other books in this series if the author continues to write it, andididfind the story to be a light hearted not too much thinking type of story. Easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TOTALLY BOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice quick read and fun too.
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and I think my students will love it as much as I did.  In an age where we test our students to death, any book that throws jabs at testing is going to be loved.  The narrator in this story reminded me of the narrator in "A Series of Unfortunate Events", one of my favorite series.  John and Abigail are the children of an inventor.  Their mother is dead.  They are kidnapped by another set of twins.  The "evil twins", Dean and Dan want an invention their father have created.  They got the bright idea of getting their hands on it by kidnapping Abigail and John.  They didn't really know what they were getting themselves into by kidnapping these two kids.  You'll have to read the book to see what I mean.  The book also contains questions "for review" at the end of each chapter.  They contain clues to help you as well as letting you KNOW how great the narrator is.  This seems to be a recurring theme throughout the book.  I have to say he was my favorite character.  This is a terrific middle grad book and one I can't wait to put on my shelves at school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You cant hate a book like this you just cant(well you could but i dont see how)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The aurther was a kindergarden drop out amd wemt to a stupid college that was 10000 a year and the average college is 30000 . This book is pure crap if i had to read this book i would die but this was a book i had to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The narrator had me laughing my head off but dont worry im still alive. Somehow. I really have never read a book more hilarious. It was really good though really short and i loved the illistrations. Im excited theres more!! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to i love cheesecake res two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a lady or man teacher claiming to be one but he or she said that the Templeton's FATHER was widowed but he is a guy so wouldn't that make him a widower? *Love this book btw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wold want to read it over and over if i could
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book at first try to read was hard because the narrator kept on dragging on stories about the words he chose for his own characters and it got annoying. I'm still in the process of reading it and the grammar got better as time went on. Overall a good read! :) ;) B-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago