The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate
Waldo Baron awakes one morning to find his inventor parents have turned their house into a flying machine, and they intend to enter into a race across the country in the hopes of winning the $500 prize. His parents' plans go astray when they are kidnapped by Rose Blackwood, the sister of notorious villain Benedict Blackwood, who intends to use the prize money to free her brother from prison. But Rose is not what she seems to be, and Waldo finds himself becoming friends with their kindly kidnapper as they race across the country in the magnificent flying Baron estate!
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About the Author
Eric Bower is the author of The Bizarre Baron Inventions series. He was born in Denville, New Jersey, an event of which he has little recollection, yet the people who were there have repeatedly assured him that it happened. He currently lives in Pasadena, California. His favorite type of pasta is cavatappi, his favorite movie is The Palm Beach Story, and he is the proud recipient of a "Beanology Degree" from Jelly Belly University in Fairfield, California. His wife and family have told him that the degree is nothing to be proud of, since "It's not a real degree. You know that . . . Right?" and "Eric, they literally give them to everyone who visits the Jelly Belly factory," but he knows that they're all just jealous.
..".about as wild as one might hope the West can get." - Kirkus Reviews--Kirkus Reviews
"Beginning with the table of contents that hosts the creatively named chapters--such as "I Felt Like a Marshmallow Wrapped in a Doily"--The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate is an entertaining middle grade novel set in 1891 in the wild west.
Waldo Baron, or W.B. as his parents call him, hates his name more than eating pickled pigs feet for supper. He is heavyset and doesn't do well in the heat. And to top it all off, his science-minded Pa and mathematical-minded Ma have very anachronistic ideas that pose quite the challenge for Waldo. He doesn't take science particularly seriously, but his parents are inventors. Together they all live in the Baron Estate in Pitchfork, Arizona Territory. Pitchfork is the hot and dry home of the legendary Sheriff Graham, who is best known for capturing the most wanted criminal in America, Benedict Blackwood. One morning, Waldo awakens to see only blue from his bedroom window. He discovers that his parents have worked out how to make the Baron Estate float--no, fly! His parents enter a flying contest and action-packed havoc ensues when they end up being kidnapped by Benedict Blackwood's sister!
Author Eric Bower sure knows how to spin a yarn. Every part of the story has purpose and the story builds upon each chapter. There are unexpected plot-twist surprises that elicit laughter. His characters are vibrant and they bring color to the story with their varying quirky traits: Aunt Dorca is annoying and always singing; Iris (also known as Shorty) is a name-caller but also well-meaning; Benedict Blackwood is, of course, dastardly; Waldo is self-deprecating and kind; and Pa is as smart as a tack and as forgetful as a goldfish. Other characters bring color and thoughtfulness to the story because they are not what they seem at all--in fact, they remind readers not to judge people by what others tell us about them.
The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate is an enjoyable old-school Western with a contemporary feel, thanks to the steampunk addition of Ma and Pa's inventions. Including a scene with flying horse poop, kids ages 9-12 are bound to enjoy this topsy-turvy tale with its funny moments of slapstick comedy."--The Children's Book Review
"It's 1891 and Waldo Baron lives in the nothing-ever-happens town of Pitchfork in the
middle of the desert. He constantly has to tolerate the wild and crazy inventions both of his parents create and is embarrassed when anyone comes to their house. One day he gets out of bed to find his parents' latest scientific project is to make the house fly, way up in the sky. Their plan is to win the Inventors' Contest in which inventors enter their flying vehicles in a race across the country. Waldo wishes at first that he was back on dry desert land but soon learns that he is about to embark on the greatest adventure of his life. Kids will want to come along for this action-packed flight as Waldo defines his true character and learns how to be his best self." - Story Monsters Ink