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The Fantastic Family Whipple

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For every child who’s ever dreamed of being in the Guinness Book of World Records comes the story of eleven-year-old Arthur Whipple and his fantastic family of world record breakers . . . - Most Crème Brulée Eaten in One Minute - Highest Number of Matching Outfits Worn by a Stuffed Toy and Its Owner - Youngest Person to Summit the Third-Highest Mountain in the World These are For every child who’s ever dreamed of being in the Guinness Book of World Records comes the story of eleven-year-old Arthur Whipple and his fantastic family of world record breakers . . . - Most Crème Brulée Eaten in One Minute - Highest Number of Matching Outfits Worn by a Stuffed Toy and Its Owner - Youngest Person to Summit the Third-Highest Mountain in the World These are just three of the 49,521 records won by Arthur’s twelve brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, unlike his siblings, Arthur hasn’t broken a single, solitary world record! But when the Whipples suffer a spate of catastrophes and a curious amount of attention from a pair of irregularly sized and unusually menacing clowns, Arthur might be the only one who can save his family from losing their collective crown . . . or worse.


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For every child who’s ever dreamed of being in the Guinness Book of World Records comes the story of eleven-year-old Arthur Whipple and his fantastic family of world record breakers . . . - Most Crème Brulée Eaten in One Minute - Highest Number of Matching Outfits Worn by a Stuffed Toy and Its Owner - Youngest Person to Summit the Third-Highest Mountain in the World These are For every child who’s ever dreamed of being in the Guinness Book of World Records comes the story of eleven-year-old Arthur Whipple and his fantastic family of world record breakers . . . - Most Crème Brulée Eaten in One Minute - Highest Number of Matching Outfits Worn by a Stuffed Toy and Its Owner - Youngest Person to Summit the Third-Highest Mountain in the World These are just three of the 49,521 records won by Arthur’s twelve brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, unlike his siblings, Arthur hasn’t broken a single, solitary world record! But when the Whipples suffer a spate of catastrophes and a curious amount of attention from a pair of irregularly sized and unusually menacing clowns, Arthur might be the only one who can save his family from losing their collective crown . . . or worse.

30 review for The Fantastic Family Whipple

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Today, we open with a rant. Now, this isn't really about this book in particular or anything the author did. This rant is about publishers and how they like to sneak series into our lives. Listen, I don't mind series, though I am getting a bit tired of everything being part of a series, but what I cannot abide by is thinking a book is a standalone and it turning out to be the first book in a series. Nothing in the blurb or on Goodreads indicates that this is part of a series, but, as the last ch Today, we open with a rant. Now, this isn't really about this book in particular or anything the author did. This rant is about publishers and how they like to sneak series into our lives. Listen, I don't mind series, though I am getting a bit tired of everything being part of a series, but what I cannot abide by is thinking a book is a standalone and it turning out to be the first book in a series. Nothing in the blurb or on Goodreads indicates that this is part of a series, but, as the last chapter makes clear, it is. HARRUMPH to this I say. I'm left feeling annoyed with the book, as though it did something to me when this is a failure of the publisher in marketing it properly as what it is: the opening to a series. Despite this, The Fantastic Family Whipple actually was a cute middle grade novel, but do be warned that it is yet another series. Young readers are going to love The Fantastic Family Whipple, I have little doubt. World records are so compelling to children for reasons I don't quite fathom now that I'm an adult. Even so, I remember marveling over the Guinness Book of World Records just like everyone else did back in elementary school. In library's I've worked out, the Guinness Book has always been one of the most popular check outs. Kids love this stuff, and they will love this book. Even better for young readers, the records being set in The Fantastic Family Whipple are all ridiculous, which will no doubt have the young readers chortling. For example, one of the attempted records involves a hamster-manned rocket flight and another involves hopping up and down on one leg. Even better, the Whipples participate in an Unsafe Sports competition, which I am sure will captivate young imaginations. The cover really captures the light-hearted humor, silliness, and bombastic nature of The Fantastic Family Whipple. In addition to the hijinks, there's also a mystery for our utterly un-illustrious young hero to solve. Arthur Whipple is the only unremarkable member of the Whipple family, but it's his turn to step up and be important. Also, thanks to their new neighbors, the Goldwins, Arthur's family may be joining him in his losing streak. I did like The Fantastic Family Whipple, but this is one of those middle grade novels that I think loses a lot of its charm for an adult audience. The jokes and the situations are perfect humor for children, but, while entertaining, didn't drive me to the heights of glee that I think they would a child. Also, I would have liked to see a bit more progress made on the mystery plot line in this book. The ending felt arbitrary and sudden. If you know younger readers who love humor and can't stop reading the Guinness Book of World Records, they will love The Fantastic Family Whipple. As an adult, the humor wasn't quite my speed, so I probably will not be returning for the sequel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Greta

    I was really surprised that this book ended where it did -- it almost felt like the author realized that he'd have to write a second book to finish this story arc. Which is a bit annoying-- I wanted this story to conclude and for the inevitable second book to be its own story. Still, there were parts when I actually laughed out loud (mostly relating to the protagonist Arthur's arch nemesis, Prince Bobo the chimpanzee. But, the world records in the appendix kind of makes up for all shortcomings. I was really surprised that this book ended where it did -- it almost felt like the author realized that he'd have to write a second book to finish this story arc. Which is a bit annoying-- I wanted this story to conclude and for the inevitable second book to be its own story. Still, there were parts when I actually laughed out loud (mostly relating to the protagonist Arthur's arch nemesis, Prince Bobo the chimpanzee. But, the world records in the appendix kind of makes up for all shortcomings.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laney Smith

    Arthur Whipple is a let-down to his entire family. He is one of the many children of the Whipple family, who is known to have broken the most world records as a family than any other in the world. Why, oh why does every book have to be turned into a series? Especially when it could be a stand-alone book... Publishers, you've done it yet again...you've put another series in my life that honestly (no offense to any publisher, author, etc.) could really be a stand alone book if the plot had been con Arthur Whipple is a let-down to his entire family. He is one of the many children of the Whipple family, who is known to have broken the most world records as a family than any other in the world. Why, oh why does every book have to be turned into a series? Especially when it could be a stand-alone book... Publishers, you've done it yet again...you've put another series in my life that honestly (no offense to any publisher, author, etc.) could really be a stand alone book if the plot had been concluded. It was like half a book. Overall...a pretty good book. I was just very frustrated in the fact that Arthur's parents (especially his father) treated him like he was a failure to the entire family and that he didn't deserve to be there just because he hadn't broken a world record. His father even showed him a failure quotient chart to remind his son of HOW MUCH of a failure he was. The book also portrays violent images (for being an elementary read) such as parents throwing knives at their children in the sake of winning a title as well as one of the siblings getting "accidentally" shot in the back by an arrow. It also voices the theme that winning is more important than family or being compassionate to others. A few things were not explained beforehand, such as Arthur's participation in the Unsafe Sports Showdown and the Rocket Stick event. I thought this kid was a failure, but he's competing in a world-record event! Just a bit confusing... A decent book overall, but the plot was not concluded and has obviously led to a sequel...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Luke

    MUST READ! The clever and endearing voice and fantastical characters will take you on the most memorable adventure! Nothing short of EXTRAORDINARY!

  5. 4 out of 5

    hhertzof

    Started off clever but the premise had worn thin by the end.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Arthur Whipple doesn't fit in his family. Everyone else has the same birthday and breaks world records every day. Arthur was born a day early and has failed at every record he has attempted to break. Even the people who work for the Whipples are record holders. Arthur tries everything to make his family see and appreciate him but they never do. Then a mysterious dwarf and giant ruin the big birthday bash and a family from Mr. Whipple's past comes back and beats the Whipples at everything. The fa Arthur Whipple doesn't fit in his family. Everyone else has the same birthday and breaks world records every day. Arthur was born a day early and has failed at every record he has attempted to break. Even the people who work for the Whipples are record holders. Arthur tries everything to make his family see and appreciate him but they never do. Then a mysterious dwarf and giant ruin the big birthday bash and a family from Mr. Whipple's past comes back and beats the Whipples at everything. The family cook is blamed for all their troubles, but Arthur knows he isn't the real culprit. He has to find out who is behind everything and convince the others of the truth. Ugh! I almost didn't get through this one. It had so much going for it, but really didn't live up to its potential. For one thing it was WAY too long. 400 pages is a lot of story especially for a book as convoluted as this one. The world record stuff was interesting at first, but quickly became a crutch for the story. It was way too unbelievable and clunky a device. The last thing that really bothered me was the fact that there wasn't really any conclusion or moral or lesson to be learned from this book. We don't know who ruined the birthday party; we don't know who really hired the dwarf and giant; we don't know why the cook was blamed; we don't know what is up with the Goldwins; and Arthur's family never appreciates him. I really wanted more from this book and didn't get it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I liked this book a lot but there were a few things that bothered me. First, it ended so abruptly. It was very suspenseful so it was a huge let down that it just stopped. I would wait until the next one comes out before reading this one. The other thing was it had some violence and violent ideas. Like mothers throwing knives at their children, hoping they are good enough not to hit them. Or an arrow hitting one of the brothers in the back. Also I didn't like the theme that winning is everything I liked this book a lot but there were a few things that bothered me. First, it ended so abruptly. It was very suspenseful so it was a huge let down that it just stopped. I would wait until the next one comes out before reading this one. The other thing was it had some violence and violent ideas. Like mothers throwing knives at their children, hoping they are good enough not to hit them. Or an arrow hitting one of the brothers in the back. Also I didn't like the theme that winning is everything and is more important than helping others. I was hoping that would be changed around but wasn't in this book. I am looking forward to the next one!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Josh Newhouse

    I really liked this book... it's absurd... it's cute... it's funny... but... it's half a book... rising action, drama, twists... but no resolution... not the only book I've read that committed this sin... but at 350 plus pages... there was no need... there's dangling plot lines and there's this... torn between 3 and 5 stars... low 4 stars due to this issue... hope book 2 resolves things better! I really liked this book... it's absurd... it's cute... it's funny... but... it's half a book... rising action, drama, twists... but no resolution... not the only book I've read that committed this sin... but at 350 plus pages... there was no need... there's dangling plot lines and there's this... torn between 3 and 5 stars... low 4 stars due to this issue... hope book 2 resolves things better!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill Cd

    I just couldn't finish it. I got past page 100 of the 400 pages and was bored. It was too predictable. I thought the concept was interesting and could be very appealing to readers but for me it dragged. I just couldn't finish it. I got past page 100 of the 400 pages and was bored. It was too predictable. I thought the concept was interesting and could be very appealing to readers but for me it dragged.

  10. 4 out of 5

    meg

    three and a half. fun premise and clever writing but the action felt a little to dragged out even before i found out it was going to have a sequel. should have been a stand alone i think.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (NC)

    Cute book--definitely more for the younger set. Isabel enjoyed it a lot. We'll probably listen to the second one at some point. Cute book--definitely more for the younger set. Isabel enjoyed it a lot. We'll probably listen to the second one at some point.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Benke

    I don’t agree with other reviewers who say that kids would love this. It is such a depressing book. The main character who is a little boy is seen as a failure to his entire family and to all of the world around him! (Lethe than 2 characters). Arthur has not one success in the entire book! Every thing he touches goes haywire and whenever he tries to help others it ends up being a flop. I assume perhaps in later novels in the series he’ll succeed at something and maybe then his family will not be I don’t agree with other reviewers who say that kids would love this. It is such a depressing book. The main character who is a little boy is seen as a failure to his entire family and to all of the world around him! (Lethe than 2 characters). Arthur has not one success in the entire book! Every thing he touches goes haywire and whenever he tries to help others it ends up being a flop. I assume perhaps in later novels in the series he’ll succeed at something and maybe then his family will not be ashamed of him-but I won’t be getting that far. This book could have been so good, but it’s just downright sad. The only good part was the narrator of the audio book-he has a British accent and it’s really great.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    This was one of our summer read-alouds. Arthur was born into a family of world record holders and he can’t break a record of his own. He then tries to figure out who is out to sabotage the family and has quite a few mishaps along the way. I felt the book dragged and in no way expected it to be the first in a series. This book could have very easily been a stand alone book and wrapped up everything by the end. The kids liked the book and now want the 2nd in the series to get everything resolved.

  14. 5 out of 5

    LilT1227

    I liked this book because it’s a really good message about not giving up and trying your best. It’s smart to base it off of world record breaking because many people fail before they succeed. Arthur also makes a strange partner who helps him on the case of 2 mysterious clowns. That is why I like this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adarsh Magesh

    I think t this book was very interesting. It was funny to read about all of Arthur's failed records. I think it was really cool how the whole book was based off of a real record breaking family. I also liked the fact that there were lots of record breaking people, items, places, and more in the book. The plot was also really interesting because it was not just action, but really funny! I think t this book was very interesting. It was funny to read about all of Arthur's failed records. I think it was really cool how the whole book was based off of a real record breaking family. I also liked the fact that there were lots of record breaking people, items, places, and more in the book. The plot was also really interesting because it was not just action, but really funny!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This was a very good book. It was funny and engrossing. It has plot twists, character changes, and the characters make you feel their emotions. You should not read this book if you are scared of danger. This is a very good book. You should read it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lee Ann

    This was a really fun and humorous story. I wish the mystery had been solved though! I loved all the quirky records and the crazy characters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheela

    3.5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I think this book would translate well to the big screen.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Standish

    This book was so good!

  21. 4 out of 5

    CR

    Great book. Terrific mystery filled to the brim with action and suspense. I would recommend it to anyone who likes record breaking.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liam McCann

    A great book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Smithey

    There's comedy and mystery and just a touch of sinister action this is one of my favorite books There's comedy and mystery and just a touch of sinister action this is one of my favorite books

  24. 4 out of 5

    LisaSunshineGirl

    The world of the Whipple's is a fascinating and exciting place, where breaking world records is valued above all other attributes. Where crowds flock to the annual Unsafe Sports event to cheer on death-defying acts, such as mothers throwing knives at their children. Every member of the Family Whipple - except Arthur - shares the same birthday: March 1st. Every member of the Family Whipple - except Arthur - has broken multiple world records. Arthur has yet to break even one. Father Whipple keeps a The world of the Whipple's is a fascinating and exciting place, where breaking world records is valued above all other attributes. Where crowds flock to the annual Unsafe Sports event to cheer on death-defying acts, such as mothers throwing knives at their children. Every member of the Family Whipple - except Arthur - shares the same birthday: March 1st. Every member of the Family Whipple - except Arthur - has broken multiple world records. Arthur has yet to break even one. Father Whipple keeps a failure quotient on his children, particularly Arthur, his one oddball son. But, even as Arthur strives to keep up with his siblings, there is a mystery afoot. Something called "the Lion's Curse" threatens to bring doom, disgrace, destruction and even death to Arthur's family. Reading this book made me want to meet the author in person. I imagine that he might be a wise and jovial sort, with whom I and other Children's Librarians could share a cup of coffee and talk about children's literature. Sometimes I admire an author's work, and then meet them in person and I am disappointed. But I have higher hopes for Matthew Ward. I was impressed by the sense of humor that is woven through every chapter, and the intricate attention to detail that has gone into crafting each main character and their captivating world. The characters' personalities charmed me: - I liked the thoughtfulness of Sammy the Spatula's birthday cakes for Arthur, and the painstaking detail the chef put into recognizing Arthur's growing level of accomplishment. - I couldn't help shaking my head at Father Whipple's tunnel vision when it comes to recognizing that his son could have value for something other than breaking world records. - Arthur's steps and missteps seemed very true-to-life for a 12-year-old boy. Awkward with girls. Wanting to please his father. Desiring to impress his family. Confusion in the moment, due to wanting to do the right thing, but not being quite clear on what that might be... My only complaint about the book was that the ending did not wrap everything up neatly with a bow. It left room for a second installment instead...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Harrison Schwartz

    This year, my mom and I attended the Book Expo of America in Manhattan. At the expo, everybody loves books (well that's a shocker). I had conversations about books everywhere; on the autograph lines, eating lunch, etc. While I was waiting for an autograph from Peter Lerangis, I engaged in a conversation with a librarian. We talked about what books we liked and I told her about my blog. She recommended this book to me, and was kind enough to hand me an Advanced Reader Copy, or ARC for short. This This year, my mom and I attended the Book Expo of America in Manhattan. At the expo, everybody loves books (well that's a shocker). I had conversations about books everywhere; on the autograph lines, eating lunch, etc. While I was waiting for an autograph from Peter Lerangis, I engaged in a conversation with a librarian. We talked about what books we liked and I told her about my blog. She recommended this book to me, and was kind enough to hand me an Advanced Reader Copy, or ARC for short. This book will officially be released in August. Thank you nice librarian lady. The Whipple family was a record breaking family. They broke 49,521 records. Everybody in the family was born on March 1, but, sadly, Arthur Whipple didn't join the club. He was born on February 29. Not even one single record out of the 49,521 were broken by him. Then, the worst thing imaginable happens. Menacing, evil, cold blooded clowns (yes, clowns!) trashed the Whipple's birthday party! This book was a funny read. Some parts made me laugh out loud, like when Prince Bobo the Chimpanzee and Arthur competed in a rocket stick race, and when a piece of giant french toast fell on one of Arthur's sisters, Beatrice Whipple. This was a great book. It's a funny and creative novel. I have never read a story about record breakers, but now I'm poring over the Guinness Book of World Records. The only thing I didn't like about the book was that I felt Arthur's surroundings were described with little detail. Beside that, it's an amazing story. My favorite character was Mr. Mahankali. He had a pet elephant who was the largest Indian elephant ever, and held the record for being the hairiest man of al l time. He saved the Whipple family when their birthday party was trashed. I rate this book 9 out of 10 stars because Arthur's world wasn't described in much detail. It was still an outstanding book. As I said earlier, thank nice librarian ladies.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas K.

    If you think being part of a world record holding family is easy and fun, than you should you read The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward and discover how difficult it can be to compete with your family. Meet Arthur Whipple, a young boy, son of Charles Whipple, and failed record breaker since birth. His family is a famous record-breaking family, and Arthur hasn’t been breaking records like they do. He can never seem to get it right. Making things worse, the Whipples are troubled by the ris If you think being part of a world record holding family is easy and fun, than you should you read The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward and discover how difficult it can be to compete with your family. Meet Arthur Whipple, a young boy, son of Charles Whipple, and failed record breaker since birth. His family is a famous record-breaking family, and Arthur hasn’t been breaking records like they do. He can never seem to get it right. Making things worse, the Whipples are troubled by the rise of another record-breaking family who are beating one record after another. Meanwhile, Mr. Whipple starts to blame the “Lyons Curse” for his family’s recent misfortune after a giant piece of French toast nearly squashes one of Arthur’s sisters and then, later, at the Whipple’s birthday, a giant cake with huge candles blows up at the party and starts a fire! Afterwards, the Whipple’s chef, Sammy “The Spatula” Smith is blamed for both the “French Toast Fiasco” and the “Birthday Cake Catastrophe.” However, Arthur suspects a pair of clowns who showed up just before everything went wrong is responsible for the disasters. Will Arthur catch the crooks in time? One thing I like about this book is how funny the situations are written. For example, one of Arthur’s sister’s records is Highest Hamster-Piloted Model-Rocket Launch Ever Recorded. Another thing I like about the book is all the creative, fantastic things that are involved in the Whipple’s life such as “Explococoa!,” a hot cocoa drink that explodes! Finally, after reading The Fantastic Family Whipple, I was excited to learn more about world record holders and how difficult it can be to break a record. If that topic combined with an exciting, funny mystery interests you, than I highly recommend you read this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Arthur Whipple is ruining his family's attempts at record breaking. He's born on February 29 instead of 1 March. He can't even stay awake for five days, and isn't helping his family to be the biggest and best at everything so that they can be listed in the Grazelby Guide. The family is so prolific at setting records that they have a full time staff member from the Guide attend to the family. Arthur suspects he might be a victim of the Lyon's Curse, and when things start to go wrong for the whole Arthur Whipple is ruining his family's attempts at record breaking. He's born on February 29 instead of 1 March. He can't even stay awake for five days, and isn't helping his family to be the biggest and best at everything so that they can be listed in the Grazelby Guide. The family is so prolific at setting records that they have a full time staff member from the Guide attend to the family. Arthur suspects he might be a victim of the Lyon's Curse, and when things start to go wrong for the whole family, he becomes more and more concerned. A giant birthday cake is sabotaged, causing injuries. The family cook, Sammy, is accused of setting this up, and Arthur is determined to see that the man is freed. This is made more difficult by the appearance of another record setting family, and the involvement of the very touchy Global Guild of Dwarves and Giants. Arthur manages to prove his worth to his family, even if it is in ways that they don't particularly value. His adventures will continue in the fall of 2014 with a second book. Had to read this carefully, but decided it is realistic, if goofy. Strengths: Tons of action, lots of humor, kids saving the situation-- this has it all. For some reason, it struck me that readers of The Mysterious Benedict Society would like this one. Weaknesses: A little too frenetic for my taste. There were so many characters and so much going on that I had to really concentrate to keep the plot straight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    "It's hard to say which is worse -- losing one's life, or losing one's greatest world record." At least it's hard to say for the Whipple Family, so obsessed they are with setting world records. The only family member to not have a world record under his belt is Arthur. Even the date of his birthday, February 29th, caused all kinds of problems because all the other Whipples were born on March 1st. I mean really, couldn't he have waited? Arthur just can't seem to do anything out of the ordinary. An "It's hard to say which is worse -- losing one's life, or losing one's greatest world record." At least it's hard to say for the Whipple Family, so obsessed they are with setting world records. The only family member to not have a world record under his belt is Arthur. Even the date of his birthday, February 29th, caused all kinds of problems because all the other Whipples were born on March 1st. I mean really, couldn't he have waited? Arthur just can't seem to do anything out of the ordinary. And in a family like the Whipple's, there's nothing worse. Unless, you find out that the family is cursed. During their huge birthday extravaganza, there is a horrible accident that seems to indicate that the family curse is alive and well. But is it really the curse? Or is someone framing them? After all, Arthur did see those two strange looking clowns around the area where the explosion occurred. One clown nearly 9 feet tall, the other under 4 feet tall. He was going to bring it to someone's attention, but decided against it. Still, the Whipples insist that the accident was not caused by their negligence and hire an investigator to help them prove this. "Villains be vigilant - Inspector Hadrian Smudge in on the case." Arthur longs to be useful during the investigation to prove that he's not a failure, but every thing he tries seems to end in bad news. "In a life overflowing with failure, this was his biggest failure yet." Who is out to get the Whipples and why?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Arthur Whipple was a disappointment from the moment he was born. Take this exchange between Arthur’s father and the doctor for example: Pg. 2 from “Congratulations, Mr. Whipple.” to “This is just a disaster.” Only the Whipple Family would hope for a baby to have more than 10 fingers and 10 toes. The Fantastic Family Whipple...12 children and 2 adults...who currently hold the World Record for the Most World Records Broken by a Single Family Unit. Every single one of the Whipples holds at least one Arthur Whipple was a disappointment from the moment he was born. Take this exchange between Arthur’s father and the doctor for example: Pg. 2 from “Congratulations, Mr. Whipple.” to “This is just a disaster.” Only the Whipple Family would hope for a baby to have more than 10 fingers and 10 toes. The Fantastic Family Whipple...12 children and 2 adults...who currently hold the World Record for the Most World Records Broken by a Single Family Unit. Every single one of the Whipples holds at least one world record from Longest Continuous Time Playing the Accordion to the Youngest Person to Climb the 3rd Highest Mountain in the World. They even own the World’s Tallest Dog, and currently hold the record for Highest Number of Coincidental Birth Dates. Everyone is showered in world record numbers, except for Arthur, whose birthday is one day before the rest of his family and who has never broken a world record. But when a family curse, a mysterious crime involving a giant birthday cake, and a rival family threaten to unseat the Whipples from their world record throne, Arthur is the only one who can save them, and the one only who might die trying.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Arthur Whipple is born (one day early to share their common birth date) into a family that is dedicated to breaking world records, in a society even more obsessed with success than ours. His parents and siblings break records every day, it seems, but not Arthur, whose failures make him feel as though he's not even a family member. Then two things happen: A new family moves nearby and their daughter Ruby seems to like Arthur, and disasters start to strike the family, not least of which is losing Arthur Whipple is born (one day early to share their common birth date) into a family that is dedicated to breaking world records, in a society even more obsessed with success than ours. His parents and siblings break records every day, it seems, but not Arthur, whose failures make him feel as though he's not even a family member. Then two things happen: A new family moves nearby and their daughter Ruby seems to like Arthur, and disasters start to strike the family, not least of which is losing events to Ruby's family, the Goldwins. Also, Arthur's father seems to have a secret in his past involving Mr. Goldwin. Then an award-winning detective blames the family chef for all the problems the family has, though Arthur is sure he's innocent. Book 2 is promised on the last page, and there are certainly plenty of loose ends to tie up. For a more humorous look at the woes of an average kid in a family of high achievers, there's also Helen Cresswell's wonderful first novel in the Bagthorpe series, Ordinary Jack.

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