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The Exquisite Corpse Adventure by National…

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure

by National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance

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A completely bizarre and somewhat disjointed account of the adventures of Nancy and Joe, twins left at the circus as babies when their parents open a portal into another dimension, as they search for the pieces of the exquisite corpse robot that will help them to rescue their parents. A modern-day take on the Victorian parlor game, the Exquisite Corpse is written by some of the best-known children's authors writing today. Not my favorite book, but an entertaining read.
  LibraryGirl11 | Feb 24, 2012 |
Reason for Reading: I read a book like this a long time ago when the great mystery writers got together, including Agatha Christie, and did the same thing. This sounded like it would be a lot of fun.

Sixteen different top children's authors played a game where they each wrote the next chapter of an ongoing middle grade adventure story. The book is also illustrated in the same way by five different illustrators. With 27 chapters this has some of our authors writing two chapters while others only write once. John Scieszka starts things off with a wild premise giving the book a plot and many possible scenarios that may possibly happen. Each author was to read the book written so far when they received it and add on the next chapter. It is hilarious seeing how the authors manage to bring the elements together, while using their own unique writing styles. This makes for an adventure-filled plot and each chapter ends in either a cliffhanger or an unknown moment. It had the feeling of one of those old serials they used to play before the main movie back in the old b/w days. Never a dull moment as the authors played with elements that other authors started and managed to keep running jokes going.

The story involves twins Joe and Nancy who have been raised at the circus since infants. On there 11th birthday they discover their parents are alive but trapped in another dimension and they must rescue them by finding the scattered pieces of a robot and reassembling it so it can open the door to said dimension. All this must happen before weird alien creatures from *another* dimension take over the bodies and control of Joe and Nancy's world. An exciting, non-stop action, funny story with a sci-fi adventure theme and some fantasy thrown in for good measure. A really fun ride! ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 12, 2011 |
This is a goofy, delightful, careening tale. The joy at cobbling together the tale, one author/illustrator at a time, is evident. This story is the kind of wild romp that will make kids snort when it's read aloud in a classroom. Save literary analysis for another project and just enjoy in the giddy fun of the creators. (152) ( )
  activelearning | Jul 29, 2011 |
Personal Response:

The e-book format, with one chapter release at a time, is what it must have felt like to wait for, say, a Charles Dickens piece in the past. The changes in style and tone are to be expected, with all the different authors. I could not help but compare one to the next, with Lemony Snicket standing out from the bunch (particularly with his meta-narrative highlighting the disjointed nature of the story).

Programming or curricular connections:

Analysis of style

Kids could write their own exquisite corpse story, either adding a chapter to the Exquisite Corpse Adventure, or working together on a wholly new story.
  hsollom | Aug 9, 2010 |
Having never read an online book before I wasn’t sure what my reaction would be. While I did miss the physical aspect of a “real book” I enjoyed the “turning” of the pages, and the format was very clear and simple. I especially liked the optional audio version; I think many readers (especially beginners) will enjoy listening and reading along with it. As this book is written by several different authors, I wasn’t sure the tone and language would flow well, and that it may seem like a disjointed narrative. However, the author changes for the most part are not offensively noticeable. There are subtle callbacks to previous chapters, and continuity is apparent in words and phrases. The major complaint is that the story can get rather repetitive (ie. numerous episodes end with a threatening, mysterious, disembodied voice), and the plot often seems patched together. The downside to different authors is that they don’t know the trajectory of the plot, and often have to write situations in ways to make it easy for the next author to follow. Overall an interesting experimental story.
  ECraine | Aug 4, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763651494, Hardcover)

Take twenty top kids' authors and illustrators. Give them free rein to take turns creating a zany progressive story. What could possibly happen next?

It all starts with a train rushing through the night. . . . Well, actually, it starts when Jon Scieszka, former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, writes a cliff-hanger episode and passes it on to the next member of a cast of celebrated writers and illustrators, who continues the story and passes it on. And what happens between episodes one and twenty-seven? Think werewolves and mad scientists, a talking pig, plenty of explosions, a blue Star Wars lunchbox, two meatballs, a whole army of villains and varmints, and one just plain bad egg. Not to mention our heroes, eleven-year-old twins Nancy and Joe, raised in a circus, who must find the pieces of a Top-Secret Robot in order to rescue their parents before . . . tick, tick, tick!

A collaboration between the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance and the Library of Congress's Center for the Book, THE EXQUISITE CORPSE ADVENTURE originated as a national literacy project for young people and helped launch the READ.gov website.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:13:59 -0400)

Twins Joe and Nancy were raised in a circus but on their eleventh birthday they learn their parents are still alive and need their help, so they set out on an quest filled with many extraordinary beings and adventures. Consists of twenty-seven episodes by nineteen authors and pictures by five illustrators.… (more)

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