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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: THE GECKO & STICKY: The Power Potion by Wendelin Van Draanen

THE GECKO & STICKY: The Power Potion by Wendelin Van Draanen
Buy THE GECKO & STICKY: The Power Potion by Wendelin Van Draanen

THE GECKO & STICKY: The Power Potion
by Wendelin Van Draanen

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-375-84379-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-84379-2
Publication Date: June, 2010
List Price: $12.99

Review: Adventurous, witty, and eye-gluing, I don’t know too many books that can be described this way except Wendelin Van Draanen’s The Gecko & Sticky: The Power Potion. This book is the fourth installment in The Gecko & Sticky series. The main characters are Dave-a delivery boy, Sticky- a talking and kleptomaniac gecko, and Damien Black- an evil treasure hunter. The Gecko & Sticky: The Power Potion is one of a kind. Van Draanen does an excellent job combining humor and adventure in The Gecko & Sticky series.

The story starts with Dave Sanchez aka The Gecko, making his last delivery of the day. He is riding his bike to Gypsy Town to pick up a package for Mr. Damien Black, which is surprisingly in a strange tube. Dave and Sticky have met the Mr. Black on several occasions in the past. On one of their expeditions, they found an ancient, Aztec wristband that held five gold ingots, each with its own special power. Through a series of events, Sticky obtained the wristband and gave it to Dave who became a super hero known as The Gecko. In one of The Gecko’s earlier adventures, he foiled Damien Black’s illegal operation of breaking into a bank. Now Mr. Black is out of jail and up to no good. Before Dave and Sticky go to Mr. Black’s home, curiosity takes control and they open the tube. What they find is shocking, a blue liquid in an amber glass. Dave and Sticky believe that is evil because Mr. Black wants it. They empty it out into a plastic bottle and put it away on a kitchen shelf. Then, they make their own blue concoction and put it in the tube. They deliver the tube in the disguise of a gang member to make sure that Dave is not recognized. Eventually, Mr. Black finds out the power potion is a fake and presumes that the gypsy man ‘suckerooed’ him. Mr. Black, being a man who does not like to be ‘suckerooed’, decides to kidnap the gypsy. Can The Gecko and Sticky save the day? Or will the gypsy man be doomed to a life of potion-making servitude? You don’t need any power potion to find out, only read the book and all answers will be unveiled.

This is a hilarious book! I couldn’t stop laughing when Sticky told Dave that he had to look ‘Gangsta’ and that he needed ‘Bling’ to deliver the package. The Gecko & Sticky: The Power Potion is also filled with Sticky using all of his favorite catch phrases in Spanish. My favorite is ‘Is he loco-berry burritos? ‘Who could resist laughing at that? This book is mostly realistic with Dave’s normal life aside from The Gecko and Sticky, like bullies, homework, tests, and pet problems. The Gecko & Sticky: The Power Potion is a great book for children eight and up because younger readers may not understand the plot. I have not read the previous books in the series, but I think reading the other books is not essential. The book does a good job of explaining the back story. A prologue would have helped better explain the relationship between Dave and Damien Black – providing new readers the background they need, but not being too repetitive for veteran readers of the series. I give this book four out of five stars.

Review written by Sheila (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of THE GECKO & STICKY: The Power Potion for this review.

Have you read THE GECKO & STICKY: The Power Potion? How would you rate it?

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