The Dandelion Caper


Book: The Dandelion Caper

Author: Gene DeWeese 

Jacket Illustrator: Elise Primavera

Publisher: Yearling, republished 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0399213267 Hardcover

ISBN-10 : 0399213260 Hardcover

ISBN-13 : 978-0440402022 Paperback

ISBN-10 : 0440402026 Paperback

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level:  Ages 9-12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Science fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     DeWeese, GeneThe Dandelion Caper (Published in 1986 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons Juvenile, New York City, NY).  Calvin Willeford, who is going to be a seventh grader at Vernon J. Dalhart Middle School in the fall, lives with his dad who is a microchip designer for Harding Microeletronics, his mom who works for a real estate company a couple of days a week, his younger  brother Walter who is seven years old, and Hulk who is a cat, in the town of East Gradwhol.  Calvin’s best friend is Kathy Entsminger.  Calvin and Kathy join forces with Uncle Harold and a catlike, galactic law-enforcement agent named Dandelion to fight off an attack by unfriendly visitors from another planet.  Just who are these invading aliens?  What can be done to rout the bad guys?  And how will Sheriff Pippenger react?

     This wacky, quirky sci-fi adventure book is a sequel to Black Suits from Outer Space (Putnam, 1985), in which Kathy and Calvin helped some “suits,” which is what they called good alien people from outer space who came to earth just to look around. Dandelion of the title is a cute, grumpy, fluffy, alien cop who needs Calvin’s and Kathy’s help.  References to drinking beer and instances of smoking cigarettes occur, but the latter is important in the plot as Uncle Hal fights the aliens with, of all things, cigarette smoke. (He used to be a smoker years ago and quit when Dandelion told him how dangerous it was.)  There are some hilarious mishaps with an Invisibility Gadget.  There is a third book in the series, Calvin Nullifier.

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