Toby Harbinger, an eighth grader at Hubble Middle School near Washington, D.C., is in big trouble. He made the mistake of selling his dad’s priceless original Star Wars blaster to a lunatic who thinks he’s Darth Vader and travels with a large, hairy sidekick known as the Wookiee. Now the lunatic wants more from Toby, whose only hope of getting out of this mess is to win first prize at the school science fair: $5,000.
But others want the prize too—a group of rich students and their super-ambitious, high-powered parents, who will stop at nothing to see their spoiled kids win. What these parents don’t know is that an evil mastermind is using them to get hold of top-secret military technology as part of a fiendish plan to destroy the United States.
When Toby discovers this plot, he and his two best friends, Tamara and Micah, try to alert the school authorities, including the fearsome principal, known as The Hornet. But powerful forces are working against Toby and his friends: they’re snared in a frame-up and get taken into federal custody, facing espionage charges. Meanwhile, the mastermind proceeds with his evil plan of destruction.
In a desperate bid to escape, the kids find themselves in league with a fairly mad scientist and two bumbling foreign dignitaries armed with cheese so smelly it is used as wolf repellent. With the seconds ticking away and the FBI close on their heels, this bizarre band sets off on a madcap mission to stop the science fair—and save the country—before it’s too late.…
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"This is a pretty darn amusing book about a subject that I hadn't thought about since middle school ... the science fair. Just when you thought science was safe, this book shows you that it'll never be safe so long as you've got hard-to-understand politicians from an undeveloped country bent on attacking the US for really ridiculous reasons, Star Wars wackos, kids who nobody understands or believes, and stinky cheese. If these things don't seem to have anything in common, don't worry, they do, but you'll have to read the book to find out what. This story made me laugh out loud a few times and kept a perpetual smile on my face. Recommended for anyone who ever had to suffer through a science fair, was unfairly charged by those in authority, enjoys stinky cheese, or who has been a Star Wars geek."
Terry (4 out of 5 stars)