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The Adventures of Vin Fiz

Review

The Adventures of Vin Fiz

Ten-year-old twins Casey and Lacey Nicefolk live on an herb farm in California with their parents and basset hound Floopy. The small farm requires lots of hard work, but Casey and Lacey love their home. They swim, boat, and camp in the nearby forests, and of course they go to school and help their parents with chores on the farm.

One day, a strange man named Mr. Sucoh Sucop and his mule, Mr. Periwinkle, arrive at the herb farm. Mr. Sucop offers to work there for free in exchange for food and lodging. The farm never earns any profits; it makes just barely enough to keep going, so Casey and Lacey's parents gladly accept the offer from the stranger.

Mr. Sucop works hard everyday, and then joins the family for dinner. Afterwards he disappears into the barn, locking the door behind him. Casey and Lacey are curious about what the strange man could be up to, but they respect his privacy. Finally, at the end of the harvesting season, Mr. Sucop lets the twins in on his very special secret. Inside the barn he has built a magical mat. Anything placed on the mat will magically transform into a life-sized, fully functioning version of that object! Mr. Sucop gives them two rules: first, the twins must believe with all their hearts that the magic will work; and second, they must only use the magic for good. With that, Mr. Sucop leaves the farm.

The twins try out the magical mat on a toy tractor, and it works! Suddenly, parked in their barn is a real-life tractor. Casey and Lacey give the tractor to their parents to use on the farm. Next, in the cover of the morning darkness, they transform one of Casey's model airplanes. They name the life-sized plane Vin Fiz, and set off with their dog Floopy on an adventure they will never forget.

THE ADVENTURES OF VIN FIZ is a fun and imaginative story that will thrill any and all readers. Clive Cussler fills the pages with exciting quests (like rescuing a runaway train) and tosses in a bit of silly humor for flair (including some of the characters' unusual and pun-like names). For an extra bonus, Cussler artistically slips in some interesting trivia, like how a steam engine works, so readers may even learn something along the way.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on May 10, 2007

The Adventures of Vin Fiz
by Clive Cussler

  • Publication Date: May 10, 2007
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • ISBN-10: 0142407747
  • ISBN-13: 9780142407745