17 August 2021

Archer and Zowie from Hans Bluedorn Review

 I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Archer and Zowie is the newest book by Hans Bluedorn. You may know the name from the popular books from  The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox. Archer and Zowie has nothing to do with critical thinking or logic. 

This is a story about friendship. The book is very imaginative and quirky.

The story is written more like a script rather than a novel as the story goes back and forth between the characters.

Archer and Zowie is intended for older elementary, middle school, and up. You can also do this as a read-out-loud with younger elementary schools.

This is a paperback book with 18 Chapters and 233 pages. The Chapters aren’t very long. It was a very quick read for my son and me. Throughout the book, you have some black and white drawings. Nothing fancy with the illustrations but they fit the story.

The Story is about two friends Archer and Zowie, two kids who are as different as night and day. Archer is an explorer and likes to discover new things, not in his field of sight. He is a planner and a bit of a nerd. Zowie always has a smile and a heap of a mess of curly hair. She wears a costume made out of a cardboard box and a flexible silver ducting outfit made to resemble a robot. Zowie is short with very short legs. Zowie seems to notice what is in front and around her and can have an adventure wherever she is in her little space around her. Both of them can be simple or very complex in a zany way. They get along most of the time.

The story starts with the two friends talking. Archer is thinking about the stuff people are made of. Archer sees humans as huge blobs of fat, protein, and bone walking around. While Zowie has pepperoni on her mind and wished it grew on plants and she wants a whole garden of pepperoni.  Archer is annoyed that she wasn’t even paying attention to him.

They end up making a microwave into a TELEPORTEE which they write on the door the name in permanent marker! They add a clothes hanger for an antenna to it. This gadget allows them to order anything they want from the Teleporter Order Catalog by punching in a number. Marcie the babysitter is not impressed with the mess they make and sends them outside.

The two with the help of the TELEPORTEE end up in space and crash on an alien planet. On the planet, they encounter large alien penguins that collect trash every day. The kids end up chasing the TELEPORTEE across the planet all while meeting other creatures throughout. The TELEPORTEE doesn’t care for Zowie very much and ends up being evil. They need to find it so they can order a part for their spaceship so they can get home.

Archer and Zowie fight and argue and end up getting separated on the planet. Which they both regret. Zowie finds her courage and determination and saves them both. That is Archer and Zowie in a nutshell. 

My 15-year-old son read this book in two days. He said, “the book is a bit crazy and at first it took me a few chapters to appreciate it”. He went on to say, “I felt the story was fun and unique and not something I expected from this author”. Last year he read  The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox. “It was a refreshing read”, he said. My son said, “this would be a good comic strip book”. I agree it would be. He is ready for more books about Archer and Zowie.

I read the book over two weeks while curled up in bed after my son read it. The book is unique. Was it my favorite book? No. Would I recommend it? Yes, wholeheartedly. Did I dislike the book? Absolutely not? It wasn’t my genre or style of reading. The book is a gem and a good book for the intended age. My son loves to read all kinds of books. He enjoys books that make him laugh and are a bit silly. It was perfect for him. It is a good reminder that it is okay to have our kids read books just for fun. Your kids will love it. I love watching the grins and smiles while he is reading. It does a mom’s heart good.

A clever book that takes the imagination and runs with it. Nothing is overall predictable because it is that kind of story. It’s a little crazy at times with a twist of sci-fi and maybe comedy.  The story is quirky and enjoyable. It reminds you of the fun and carefree childhood imagination to its fullest. I think it’s a good reminder to have fun and use your imagination in a world inundated with technology that takes you away from those things most of us adults did as children. Using your imagination to play with friends. I highly recommend adding this into your kids reading list this year. Surprise them with a no-nonsense story. It will do them good to have a laugh or two.

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Other Homeschool Review Crew have been reading Archer and Zowie and The Fallacy Detective by Hans Bluedorn too. Click on the graphic below to find out what others have to say. 


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