Archer Helmsley lives in an unusual house. Of course, anyone with famous explorers for grandparents is bound to have some extraordinary artifacts lying around. While Archer loves the stuffed ostrich, polar bear and other various decorative items of his home, he really would like to explore the outside world more. Unfortunately, ever since his grandparents disappeared on an iceberg in Antarctica, his mother has restricted his activities to home and school for fear that the Helmsely urge to travel would take hold of her son.

Fortunately, Archer has a creative mind. He finds a way to make friends from amongst his neighbors and manages to climb out of his window to meet them. Oliver Glub is as nervous as Archer is adventurous. He is trustworthy, however, and his family accepts Archer unconditionally. Adelaide L. Belmont, a daring girl with a wooden leg, willingly agrees to help Archer in his quest to find his grandparents. All that is left for the trio is to find a way to get past Mrs. Helmsely and their malicious teacher, Mrs. Murkley.

The initial installment of Nicholas Gannon’s series will leave readers begging for the sequel. Endearing characters, clever dialogue and madcap antics will enthrall youngsters. Especially noteworthy is the warmth of the Glub family. Mrs. Glub is a harried, somewhat overwhelmed mother while Mr. Glub is nearly always engrossed in his newspaper. Still, Archer loves the mayhem and welcoming atmosphere their familial devotion provides.

Gannon’s elegant, earth-toned illustrations add charm to his first book, another reason why this new author is one to watch.

A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.

Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...