"This is the best written book I've done so far," Pinkwater told me in an interview.
The Neddiad begins in Chicago, Illinois, but after a train ride most of the story takes place in Los Angeles, California. The main character, Neddie Wentworthstein, and his father want to eat at a restaurant called the Brown Derby. In order to eat at "The Hat" they must travel to Los Angeles.
In fact, the family decides to move there and so they hop on a train and head for the West Coast. Along the way, Neddie gets lost.
It happens when Neddie visits a shop where he meets Melvin, the shaman.
"A shaman is kind of like a priest, kind of like a magician, and kind of like a teacher," Pinkwater told me when I asked.
The shaman gives Neddie a carved turtle that he is supposed to take care of at all times. But then Neddie misses the train and ends up meeting a movie star's son, Seamus Finn. Seamus and his father invite Neddie to travel to L.A. with them.
On the way they stop at the Grand Canyon and go on an airplane ride where a character named Sandor Eucalyptus tries to take the turtle. Clever Seamus tricks him and they continue on their journey.
Neddie and his new friends meet up with Neddie's parents at the Hermione Hotel where he makes even more friends. He also goes to a private school.
One person he doesn’t make friends with is Sholmos Bunyip. Neddie suspects Bunyip is up to no good.
It all boils down to one big questions: Will Neddie save the world?
This incredibly suspenseful story kept my interest until the very end. It's the type of book you just can’t put down; the characters and their personalities are so real. I felt like I actually knew them.
I also felt that The Neddiad's small chapters allow young readers like me to take breaks and easily get back into the story. This is a great book with a great ending — but you'll have to read it yourself to find out!
— Michael Carboni, Scholastic News Kid Reporter
Now, find out what author Daniel Pinkwater had to say about The Neddiad in his interview with Michael!
For more book reviews from Scholastic News Kid Reporters, visit Ready, Set, Read!
Cover of Daniel Pinkwater's new novel, The Neddiad. (Photo: Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Children's Book Group)