#1066 – The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters by Kara LaReau

new-cover The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters 1: The Jolly Regina
Written by Kara LaReau
Illustrated by Jen Hill
Amulet Books 1/10/2017
978-1-4197-2136-6
176 pages Ages 8—12

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“One half-eaten sandwich. Two sisters.
A crew of lady pirates. Lots of booty.

“Meet Jaundice and Kale Bland—two sisters from Dullsville who avoid excitement at all costs. They eat tasteless oatmeal, rarely venture into bright sunlight, and read only Dr. Nathaniel Snoote’s Illustrated Children’s Dictionary. One day, a quick knock on the door leads to the Bland sisters’ kidnapping by an all-female band of pirates—but this is only the beginning of their escapades. Filled with Ronald Dahl-esque humor, high jinks, sea chanties, and swashbuckling, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters will charm readers looking for anything-but-bland adventure.” [INSIDE JACKET]

Review
[WC 467]
Jaundice and Kale Bland live alone, taking care of each other and their home. They darn socks to pay the bills and spend free time reading from the strange dictionary—Dr. Nathaniel Snoote’s Illustrated Children’s Dictionary—Kale carries everywhere. Day-to-day life in Dullsville never changes for these sisters, except for the day, several years ago, when their parents left and have yet to return. And then one day the doorbell rings. Who is it? “It’s a surprise,” the voice calls out. Who can resist a surprise? That was the day the sisters met their first pirate.

Kidnapped and taken to the Regina Jolly, an all-female pirate ship, the Bland sisters learn their parents gave the snarky pirates permission to abscond with the girls and put them to work. During this adventure the girls learn more about their parent’s whereabouts and decide to rescue them, while returning themselves to their former, comfortable life. The girls learn how to be pirates.
pageThe girls are like two side-kicks, always ready to become the punchline. Yet, the sisters also have a quiet spunk which helps them and the pirates when needed. It is this inner quality neither girl knew existed that will help them rescue their parents—if they can find them. The supporting cast of characters adds much flavor to the sea-fairing adventure. Varying agendas keep the plot moving briskly with interesting twists. Jaundice and Kale Bland learn to adjust to life at sea, while avoiding danger, and dealing with only one death—Dr. Snoote’s. A prized new possession will help the girls mourn their lost lifeline.
dead-eye-deliliahAdults will laugh at the insider jokes, such as Captain Ann Tennille, who runs a slightly more honest pirate ship, again all-female. The story contains a boat load of humor, often at the two Bland sisters, who avoid excitement of all kinds. They much prefer their dull lives and cheese sandwich lunches to grog and sea stew. Jen Hill’s pen and ink illustrations remind me of Quentin Blake illustrator for Ronald Dahl’s stories. Originally titled The Booty Myth, The Regina Jolly will entertain young readers new to the middle grade genre with its snarky quips, pirate language, and general silliness as the Bland sisters test their limited skills to stay alive.

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters is a new middle grade trilogy. With its short chapters and fun, fast and rakish dialogue, this series is a good choice for reluctant readers. Each chapter starts with a defined word from Kale’s dictionary. It is only fitting since the girls live by Dr. Snoote’s words. Each word is also a hint as to the action of that chapter. The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters is also a great beginning middle grade read and a fun read for more advanced readers.
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THE JOLLY REGINA (THE UNINTENTIONAL ADVENTURES OF THE BLAND SISTERS, #1). Text copyright © 2017 by Kara LaReau. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Jen Hill. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Amulet Books, New York, NY.

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Add The Jolly Regina to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

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Reprinted with permission from THE JOLLY REGINA (THE UNINTENTIONAL ADVENTURES OF THE BLAND SISTERS, #1) © 2017 by Kara LaReau, Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams. Illustrations © 2017 by Jen Hill.

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Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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The Jolly Regina
Series: The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #1
Written by Kara LaReau
Illustrated by Jen Hill
Amulet Books 1/10/2017
9781419721366

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