I recently finished reading the first 3 books in the TJ and the Time Stumblers series by Bill Myers. Well, they are just too much! And I mean this in a good way. And I'll share why...
First up book 1 New Kid Catastrophes
TJ (short for Thelma Jean) and her family have just moved to Malibu from Missouri, which for some people would be a dream come true. But not for TJ. For TJ it has turned into a nightmare, especially when she crashes the neighbor's pool party with a piano! And things just go downhill from there when she starts school.
What TJ doesn't (yet) is that she is getting help in the klutz department from 2 bumbling time traveling teens who 1) misdirect their time-travel pod, 2) run out of fuel for said time-travel pod, and 3) crash into the Pacific Ocean before shorting out the unfortunate time-travel pod. Herby and Tuna are definitely not top-of-the-food-chain candidates.
New Kid Catastrophes will keep middle-grade readers laughing at all the antics and mishaps as TJ learns a valuable lesson in friendship.
Second up is Aaaargh!!!
With time-traveling teens Herby and Tuna still stuck in the twenty-first TJ's in for more trouble and this time it revolves around a Treasure Island book report. And with Tuna and Herby helping TJ won't get it written, not with swashbuckling pirates battling in her bedroom.
But TJ has even bigger problems in the form of Hesper Breakahart - tv star extraordinaire. And Hesper is determined to make TJ pay for Herby and Tuna allowing everyone to hear her thoughts at the school science fair. And unfortunately with all the weirdness going on thanks to Tuna and Herby, TJ is an easy target for Hesper's plan.
When TJ doesn't get her book report written Tuna and Herby convince her to use one written by someone else, but in the process they end up changing the future.
And when Elizabeth, Hesper's minion/fan/forgotten best friend/spy, starts observing TJ closely she becomes convinced that TJ is something else. And the something else that she thinks TJ is a combination witch/vampire/alien!
With angry pirates and parrots on the loose Malibu will never be the same again. Aaaargh!!! is a lesson in cheating and how cheating just once makes it easier and necessary to cheat again to maintain the deception from the first time.
The third time traveling blunder is Oops!
And Oops! is perhaps the funniest yet. Tuna and Herby are still 2 centuries out of place, but they are consistent in bringing more helpful trouble into TJ's life. This time TJ and time-traveling two-some are being chased through the school by an African elephant with a British accent. And they are about to crash an audition for Hesper Breakahart's soon to be cast little sister!
When something causes TJ to doubt Tuna and Herby (which understandable) they decide to let her hear their thoughts. But as usual something goes wrong and the entire Junior High student body starts hearing everyone's thoughts via their cell phones. Hearing what everyone really thinks turns into a major big time problem - fast! Can anyone say food fight that involves throwing tables and chairs?
When TJ's dad tells her mother never said anything bad about another person and when she had trouble with someone she tried to think something nice about them, he gets TJ thinking. How does one go about thinking nice thoughts about someone who is being anything but nice to you? But TJ isn't able to put this way of thinking into action until after another mishap with Tuna and Herby her wayward thoughts to change people into what she's thinking! (Which was quite humorous, not good when you're reading in the library!)
Through all the trouble that ensues TJ learns to think well of others because everyone is God's creation and deserves to be loved!