When Sam visits Zara and Ben and their great-uncle, the quirky inventor Professor Ampersand, he never expects to embark on a fantastical adventure. But when Professor Ampersand and his group of professor friends are kidnapped by the evil Professor Murdo, it's up to Sam, Zara, and Ben to save them. They have only three days in which to journey to an icy, desolate land and uncover Murdo's sinister plot. Only then can they save the professors— and the fate of the whole world.
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John Fardell works as a freelance cartoonist, illustrator, designer and occasional puppeteer. A regular contributor to Viz (he is the creator of "The Modern Parents" and "The Critics" among others), his work has also appeared in The Independent, the List, the Herald, the New Statesman and the Evening Standard.
John Fardell lives with his wife and two sons in Scotland.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-7–Eleven-year-old Sam Carnabie is spending two weeks with the intriguing Professor Ampersand, an old family friend, and his young charges, Zara and Ben. Upon arrival in Edinburgh, Sam is amazed by the thousands of quirky inventions that the professor created in his fantastic home and learns about his host's intriguing past. Thirty-five years earlier, the professor and six colleagues had attempted to create the world's greatest university on an island nation called Nordbergen in the Arctic. One of them was evil Professor Murdo, who kidnapped his colleagues and left them to die. Fortunately, his plan didn't work. Unfortunately for Sam and the siblings, Professor Murdo's henchmen appear and again kidnap the six good professors, who have gathered at Ampersand's because of rumors of Murdo's reemergence. The children have only three days to rescue the professors and save the human race. Side stories involving Marcia Slick and her dreadful parents, who have paid a fortune to Nordbergen Research Enterprises to turn her into the perfect daughter, and several teenagers who aid Sam, Ben, and Zara culminate with the infiltration of the children into Murdo's lair. Comic relief is provided by Ampersand's cranky neighbor, who speaks in colorful Scots language. Action is nonstop and very exciting. This inventive, funny, suspenseful, and exciting book will appeal to most readers, especially fans of Dahl and Rowling.–B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY
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