About the Author
Bill Myers (www.Billmyers.com) is a bestselling author and award-winning writer/director whose work has won forty national and international awards. His books and videos have sold eight million copies and include The Seeing, Eli, The Voice, My Life as, Forbidden Doors, and McGee and Me. Bill Myers trabaja con los jovenes y es un escritor/director cuyos libros y peliculas han ganado cuarenta galardones nacionales e internacionales. Es el cocreador de McGee and Me, y autor de la serie Forbidden Doors, la serie My Life as..., The Seeing.
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Ho-Ho-Nooo!TJ and the TIME STUMBLERS BOOK 4
By Bill Myers
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Bill Myers
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBeginnings ...
TIME TRAVEL LOG: Malibu, California, December 18
Subject is not fond of video games. I, on the other hand (spit-spit), am not fond of geraniums. End Transmission
"Fire proton torpedoes!" Captain Tuna shouted.
"Aye, aye, Captain!" the ever- loyal (and always dim- witted) Lieutenant Herby called back. But before Herby could reach over and push the button labeled
WARNING: Push only if you want to blow stuff up and make a real cool mess!
their spaceship was struck by a powerful explosion. The craft lurched violently to the left and was suddenly filled with the sounds of
"Row, row, row your boat—"
"Oh no!" Captain Tuna shouted.
"Oh what?" Lieutenant Herby shouted back.
"He hit us with the Stupid Song Bomb!"
"—gently down the stream."
Not only was the entire spacecraft filled with the silly stupidity, but so were the brains of the entire crew (i.e., Tuna and Herby—well, actually, only Tuna for sure, since medical science has yet to determine if Herby has a brain).
"Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily—"
"Augh!" Captain Tuna cried, grabbing his head in agony.
"Groovy!" Lieutenant Herby said, tapping his foot in ecstasy.
"Raise the deflector shields!" Captain Tuna shouted.
But Herby was too busy singing along to hear the orders.
Another explosion hit, throwing the craft to the right.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you—"
Captain Tuna leaped from his chair and staggered toward the control panel. "Must ... stop ... the ... music!"
But before he arrived, they were hit again.
"Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of—"
"Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
Just when Tuna was about to lose his mind (leaving the spacecraft with a grand total of zero minds), the singing was interrupted by an even worse sound.
"Greetings, zwork- oids!"
Tuna spun around and gasped. There, on the giant viewing screen, was the vilest of all villains, Bruce Bruiseabone. He stood on the bridge of his own spaceship, laughing his creepy
Captain Tuna watched in horror as the villainous man put his villainous hands on his villainous hips and spoke (what else?) villainously.
"And so, my mini-micro-minds, we meet again."
"What do you want from us, you fiendish fiend?" Tuna shouted.
"I want you to hand over the keys to your spacecraft."
"What?" Bruce shouted back. "You dare challenge me, the most villainous of all villains?"
"That's right!" Tuna yelled defiantly.
"We're the heroes of this story," Herby explained, "and heroes always win!"
"Have it your way." Bruce turned to one of his crew members and shouted, "Fire torpedoes!"
Once again the ship lurched, and Tuna's brain (and whatever there was of Herby's) filled with
"The itsy-bitsy spider crawled up the water—"
"AUGH!" Tuna augh-ed.
"Shh," Herby shh-ed. "This is my favorite part."
"Down came the rain and washed the spider—"
"Not only will you hand over your keys," Bruce shouted again, "but you will give me those giant foam dice hanging from your rearview mirror."
"Oh no!" Tuna cried. "Not the foam dice!"
"Guys?" a female voice suddenly called from below.
Another bomb struck:
"Are you sleeping, are you sleeping? Brother John? Brother—?"
"Guys!" The female creature stuck her head up through the spaceship's floor. She had dark hair, wore glasses, and was incredibly smoot (at least according to Herby—well, all right, according to Tuna, too). "What are you two doing?" she shouted.
Immediately Tuna grabbed his Swiss Army Knife (sold at 23rd-century time-travel stores everywhere) and closed the blade. The holographic video game disappeared. No more spacecraft, no more Bruce Bruiseabone, and no more irritating music. The fancy starship had changed back into a dusty attic.
"Hey," Herby complained, "I was really getting into that song."
He got a frown from the female—a seventh-grade girl better known as Thelma Jean Finkelstein (TJ to her friends—all four of them, if you count her goldfish and hamster). She'd just moved from Missouri to Malibu, California (which explains why she had only four friends). If that wasn't bad enough, she had become the history project of Herby and Tuna, a couple of goofball teenagers from the 23rd century who'd traveled back in time to do a school report on her. Apparently she was going to grow up to become somebody important (if she survived junior high).
Unfortunately, the guys' time- travel pod had run out of fuel and they were stuck here.
Unfortunatelier (don't try that word in English class), TJ was the only one who could see them.
Unfortunateliest (the same goes for that word), people could still hear them.
"I told you," she whispered, "no video games after nine o'clock."
"We were just practicing." Herby flipped aside his surfer bangs and flexed his muscles. (He was always flexing his muscles to try to impress TJ.)
Tuna explained, "We need to be prepared in case Bruce Bruiseabone reappears."
"I thought he went back to the 23rd century," TJ said.
"He did," Herby agreed as he spotted a tiny fly buzzing around the room.
Tuna continued. "However, there's no telling when he'll show up again to torment us."
"Or—" Herby lowered his voice and watched the fly buzz toward the attic window—"what form he'll take when he does."
"Listen, guys," TJ said. "You can practice all you want when I'm at school and nobody's home."
"How can we protect you at school if we're practicing at home?" Tuna asked.
"My point exactly," TJ said. "I've told you a hundred times I don't want you following me." She paused to watch Herby tiptoe toward the window.
"Understood," Tuna said. "However—"
He was interrupted by the sound of Herby leaping at the fly. But Herby's leaper was a little lame and he was unable to stop at the window. Instead, he sort of
Crash! BREAK! tinkle-tinkle-tinkle
leaped through the glass and
roll, roll, roll
"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"
tumbled down the roof until he
landed in the flower bed.
Tuna and TJ raced to the window.
"Herby, are you all right?" TJ cried.
"Wuaff mwabom!" Herby replied (which is the best anyone can reply with a mouthful of geraniums).
"Mwi maid (spit-spit) false alarm," he finally shouted. He held out his hand and revealed one very squashed fly. "It wasn't Bruce after all!"
"Excellent news," Tuna shouted.
Of course it would have been more excellent if TJ's father wasn't shouting from downstairs, "What's going on up there? TJ, are you okay?"
Luckily, Tuna had an answer for everything. (The answer was usually wrong, but he always had one.) Without a word, he pulled open the Reverse Beam Blade of his Swiss Army Knife and
Raaaapha ... Reeeepha ... Riiiipha ...
that had happened
"!hcuO !hcuO !hcuO" llor, llor, llor
was put into
elknit-elknit-elknit !KAERB !HSARC
Herby was back in the attic having the conversation about not following TJ to school.
Not that TJ was surprised. It was just another average, run-of-the-mill evening for TJ Finkelstein and her time stumblers.
* * *
TJ climbed down the attic steps and headed toward her bedroom. As she passed Violet's door, she saw that her middle sister still had the lights on. No surprise there. Violet always had her lights on. How else could she read 50 books a day, be president of every club in her school, and become dictator of the world before she was 16?
TJ pushed open the door to see Violet standing on a ladder. She was writing numbers on a big thermometer chart that stretched up to the ceiling.
"What are you doing?" TJ asked.
Violet answered without turning. "I'm checking to see how much more money I need to earn for Daddy's gift."
"Gift?" TJ asked. "For what?"
"Christmas. It's only 6 days, 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 46 seconds from now." (Violet liked to be precise.)
"No way!" TJ cried in alarm. "It can't be!"
"You're right." Violet rechecked her watch. "It is now 6 days, 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 41 seconds." (See what I mean?)
TJ couldn't believe it. She'd been so caught up in all her junior- high migraine makers that she hadn't even noticed it was December. It would have helped to have a few clues ... like maybe a little less sunshine or the temperature dropping below 70 degrees. Still, if she'd been paying attention, she'd have noticed that the beach babes had changed from SPF 69 to SPF 41.
"I'm getting him an 82-inch plasma TV and installing it right in his bedroom," Violet said snootily. Violet didn't try to sound snooty; it just came naturally. "What are you getting him?"
"Something better than that," TJ said. TJ didn't try to compete with her sister ... it just came naturally.
"Yeah?" Violet asked. "Like what?"
"Like ... well, uh ... it's a surprise!"
"Right," Violet snorted and went back to coloring her money thermometer.
"What? You don't think I can give Daddy a better gift than you?" TJ asked.
"Actually," Violet said, "I don't think you can do anything better than me."
TJ could feel her insides churning. She knew it would do no good to argue with her sister. Violet always thought she was right. To make matters worse, Violet always was right. (Well, except that one time when she thought she was wrong.) But she couldn't help saying, "Oh yeah?"
Violet gave no answer.
TJ pushed up her glasses and repeated, "Oh yeah?"
"Listen," Violet said, "don't take it personally. It's in our DNA. I got all of Mom's and Dad's brains and you got all of ... all of ... Well, I'm sure you got something. I mean it's not like you were adopted." She hesitated, then turned to TJ. "Were you?"
If TJ was mad before, she was outraged now. So outraged that she returned to her favorite argument. "Oh yeah?"
Violet sighed. "Haven't we already had this discussion?"
TJ wanted to fire back with a classy put-down, but somehow she knew another "oh yeah" wouldn't do the trick.
They both turned to see their youngest sister, Dorie, standing in the doorway. She was as cute as a button and almost as small.
"Can I borrow some markers?"
"Hey, Squid," TJ said. "Why are you out of bed?"
"I'm working on Daddy's Christmas gift."
"You too?" TJ groaned.
"Uh-huh," Dorie said. "I'm making him a tie clasp." Her face beamed with excitement. "I already found the clothespin. Now I just need to color it with markers."
"You're giving Dad a clothespin for Christmas?" TJ asked.
Dorie shook her head. "No. I'm giving him a clothespin colored with markers for Christmas."
"I see." TJ smiled. She always smiled when she talked with Dorie. Of course she tried to hide it. After all, Dorie was a younger sister, and younger sisters are supposed to irritate older sisters. (It's like a law or something.) So TJ just tousled Dorie's hair and said, "Let's head to my room to see if I have any."
"Yippee!" Dorie said as she skipped into the hallway.
But even as they headed toward her room, TJ's mind raced back to Dad. She had to get him something. Granted, she had no money, but somehow the gift had to be bigger and better than Violet ever dreamed.
Unfortunately, some dreams turn into nightmares—especially with help from the 23rd century.
Excerpted from Ho-Ho-Nooo! by Bill Myers Copyright © 2011 by Bill Myers. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ho-Ho-NOOO! is a fairly typical popular-Christian Christmas story. TJ’s family is in for a meager holiday and she takes a series of jobs to raise money to give to her father. Her best laid plans fall apart, though, and ultimately she learns the unoriginal-but-still-important lesson that Christmas is more about the gift of God than about the gifts we give one another. I received the TJ and the Time Stumblers series (6 books in all) for my classroom, and they quickly became hits with a lot of the kids. A Christian riff on Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the Time Stumblers series features Herby and Tuna, two silly guys from the 2200’s who travel back in time to the twenty-first century in order to get some first-hand data for their history project on TJ Finkelstein, a great world leader from their past. They end up stuck with a seventh-grade version of TJ in her own time, and while they work on finding their way home they help TJ learn many of the biblical virtues and life lessons that will make her a godly and revered leader one day. My female students love that the books feature a godly heroine who, though destined for greatness, struggles with the same hardships, homework, and heartbreaks as them; and the boys get a kick out of Herby and Tuna’s antics.
The fourth book in the TJ and the Time Stumblers series, Ho-Ho-NOOO! By Bill Myers looked fun. It wasn’t a disappointment. TJ and her time traveling buddies are neck deep in trouble once again. If your a fan of Bill Myers you'll love this series. Great for kids.
Middle grade readers will love this book. It should appeal to both boys and girls because it is a basic adventure book. The purpose of the book's message is to explore the true meaning of Christmas without getting overly "religious." The main character, TJ, takes on several jobs to try to earn money to give her dad for Christmas. Things get out of hand, of course, while she tries to compete with her sister who is planning on purchasing a large screen TV. To "help" TJ understand what really counts for Christmas, bumbling time travelers on a school assignment from the future visit TJ and stay hidden in her bedroom. She's the only one who can see and hear them, but doesn't pay much attention to their warnings. There are plenty of laughs to go around--good clean non-crude humor. Herby and Tuna are traveling from the future to invisibly observe their target historical figure for a school assignment. Since their arrival, everything seems to go wrong for them, including equipment malfunctions; but they do manage to tag along with TJ to school and work for awhile. Their "help" is doubtful but funny. Besides the goofy humor in this short book, there are family dynamics to explore (TJ's mom died of cancer recently) and social dynamics to learn from. This book, like the many others written by this author is not just a fluff piece. There are valuable lessons taught within the humorous events, just enough to prompt young readers to think. Parents will love this. Books like this were something I searched for when my children were the age this book is written for (between ages 7 and 11). If you are looking for a hilarious, fast-paced adventure for your children to read, this is one I highly recommend.
I liked the truth knife that Herby used to make kids tell the truth – I wonder what it would be like to make everyone tell the truth? More zany antics by Herby and Tuna, 23rd century time travelers who bother TJ, but also help her learn real truths. This time TJ learns about what Christmas is really about – not gifts but “Being with the ones you love…and loving your friends and neighbors as God loves them.”
Ho Ho Nooo! is such a fun read. Especially, when TJ meets up with Lady Goo Goo's kids. This book cracked me up. TJ goes on quite a Christmas adventure. A great way to learn the true meaning of Christmas. 5 stars
Ok i will be back
Left, leaving no indication where he went
The book opens with torpedoes, explosions, and the fun of playing video games as TJ and her sister try to plan to give their only living parent, their father, a Christmas present. Then her father loses his job. TJ decides to get a job at a department store as Santa’s helper to get children’s pictures taken. Instead of spending time with her family TJ keeps getting more jobs. Of course, Herby and Tuna, the 23rd century kids try to help her out - but is it really helping? Lots of crazy kid antics and eventually TJ learns some life lessons. I enjoy this series!
"Ho-Ho-Nooo!" is the fourth book in Bill Myers series TJ and the Time Stumblers, and I have to admit...I wasn't too impressed. But what do I know? I'm a grown up. TJ finds herself in competition with her sister to buy her father the most expensive and extravagant Christmas gift, working so many jobs that she ends up missing out on valuable family time. And the Finkelstein family has more family time now than ever, since Dad was let go and hasn't found a new position during the Christmas season. In the fury and frenzy to make money and afford gifts the meaning of the day is forgotten. Tuna and Herby work behind the scenes (and sometimes in the middle of TJ's life) to point their future hero in the right direction. But the hijinks goes over the top for me in this one. I'm sure this is a popular series with pre-teens and the younger readers that are the target audience, it just didn't do much for me. So check this one out for yourself and see what you think. For me, I'm passing my copy on to someone who might appreciate it more.
It is Christmas time and T.J.'s sister has already planned the perfect present for her Dad. T.J. decided that she needed to get her Dad a bigger and better present but in order to do that she needed money. She got a job at a local department store and ended up babysitting a local celebrity's children. She kept tallying her money earned and thought she might have a chance to give her Dad the "biggest gift" but on Christmas Eve her life took a downward spiral. T.J. learned that Christmas is not about who can give the best present or the most stuff, its about spending time with your family and loving your friends and neighbors as God loves them. While this book seemed a little odd to me while reading it, it will be perfect for older children with all the screaming and "sound effects".
(To begin, let me say that I'm over a decade out of the target audience age range, so that definitely affects my opinion of the book.) "Ho-Ho-NOOO!" is the fourth book in a "juvenile" series about a modern-day junior-high student, T.J., and her from-the-future pals, Herby and Tuna. This installment takes place during the week leading up to Christmas as T.J. learns some lessons about charity, genuine giving and familial love. I believe the intent of the book was to teach the "real" story of Christmas, and though it made valid points about the commercialism and greed of the holiday, I didn't find a whole lot about Christ, the true "reason for the season," which I found surprising, as this is supposedly a "Christian book." Although none of the other books in the series are realistic, I found this one by far the most far-fetched and just plain ridiculous. I found some humor in the last few books, but "Ho-Ho-NOOO!" was just too over-the-top for my taste, and I honestly wouldn't recommend it, even for someone in the target audience. Additionally, I know I've mentioned it before, but I really dislike the obsession with boy/girl dynamics, crushes, etc in these books. Not only do I find it inappropriate for the age of the 12 year old main character, but I would hope that a "Christian" book could have more helpful and edifying story lines. For that reason, and those I stated in the previous paragraph, I would rate this book 2 stars.
Ho-Ho-Nooo!, by Bill Myers, is book #4 in the TJ and the Time Stumblers 6 book series—and my favorite! These are highly entertaining and engaging books. The entire series is unique in page appearance, and filled with Biblical messages. When TJ finds out her father lost his job, she goes on a quest to raise money to give to her father for Christmas. The ‘lesson’ learned (each book conveys a Biblical message) is that there is more to Christmas than gifts. TJ deals with the issues at hand, without having a ‘redo’ through time travel. The message is strong and powerful.
Christmas is coming, TJ has no money to buy her Dad a present, and her sister is already planning the perfect gift. So TJ gets a job, with help from her 23rd century visitors. I thought this was a cute book with the typical craziness of this series. It was good to see TJ learn the true meaning of Christmas.
Best one yet! These books are not my favorite, but once you get used to them they aren't too bad. This one is my favorite so far - mainly because instead of time going backwards so everything can be redone, TJ has to learn her lesson and live with the actual results. That seems a much better way to teach a lesson than to have gadgets to get you out of the mess you (and the Time Stumblers) created.
TJ Finkelstein and her friends are back for more in the fourth book of the 'TJ and the Time Stumblers' series. "Ho-Ho-Nooo!" focuses on the true meaning of Christmas, and it isn't something you can buy in a store. 23rd century time travelers Tuna & Herby are still with us (nope, no fuel for their time-travel pod yet) and they are causing as many hijinks as before. In this installment, TJ works and works to make money for a special Christmas gift for her dad (she is partly motivated to beat out her sister, Violet, and partly wants to help with the household finances as her Dad has just been laid off). TJ learns that just maybe, even in the possession-focused city she lives in, that gifts for Christmas aren't always tangible. I recommend this book and entire series.
Now that I have read all of the books in this series, I can state unequivocally that this one is my favorite! 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. The whole set would be a great gift for beginning or intermediate chapter readers.
In this novel, TJ realizes the true spirit of Christmas and through her efforts to earn money for Christmas, she is drawn back to the real reason for Christmas: Jesus Christ. It’s a sweet, entertaining tale that is sure to capture the hearts and minds of your young readers.
This is just as silly as the others in the series, with lessons taught in an imaginative way. These stories are great for kids. Bill Myers writes so well, I am looking forward to reading his newer novels.