Reading this story is a treasured rite of passage for school-age students. Few forget the dogsled race in which Willy faces Stone Fox in a chilling testimony of determination and love. Few students, however, have a similar knowledge of Gardiner's Top Secret, a poke-fun look at the school science fair scene that also champions individual creativity and fortitude. To B.D. Wong's credit, he narrates each of Gardiner's stories in a unique manner. Wong narrates with quiet reverence, respecting the power of the story and the bond among boy and dog and grandfather without imposing himself into the relationships. For the second selection, Wong playfully creates personas for Allen Brewster, his archetypal science teacher, his nemesis, and each supporting character.
In "Top Secret", a boy, attempting to win a trophy at a school science fair, transforms himself into a human plant. His formula is then declared a top-secret threat to national security.
©1980, 1984 John Reynolds Gardiner; (P)2003, 2006 HarperCollins Publishers
"Delightful." (School Library Journal)
"A treasured rite of passage for school-age students." (AudioFile)
"Gardiner's description of the race and sudden climax (based on legend) is fast-paced and enveloping." (School Library Journal)
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