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Fudge Factor: Hyperlinkz Book 2    by Robert Elmer order for
Fudge Factor
by Robert Elmer
Order:  USA  Can
WaterBrook Press, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The second book in Robert Elmer's Hyperlinkz series, Fudge Factor, picks up right where the first (Digital Disaster) left off. Austin and Ashley Webster are still stuck in the Internet trying to catch their aunt's dog, and are now being chased by Ms. Blankenskrean because they have the PDA she was using to erase any signs of faith from the Internet.

As in the first book, Elmer sneaks in some education by having the siblings escape into historical and biblical websites. Along the way they take shelter under an assembly table in the German Volkswagen plant during World War II, outrun a boulder with the inspiration for the Indian Jones movies, and arrive in Chicago just in time for the Great Fire. They also meet important figures who have told lies for the right reasons: Brother Andrew who smuggled Bibles into East Germany, Corrie ten Boom who hid Jews from the Nazis, and Rahab who misdirected citizens of Jericho searching for Israelite spies. While lying is a major theme in Fudge Factor, Elmer never preaches but lets the reader decide if it is ever okay to tell a fib.

The book is very faced paced and the end of every chapter makes you want to read on to find out where the Websters will end up next. This, combined with Robert Elmer's solid writing, makes for an enjoyable read. Once again, the book ends with information on websites to visit, in order to learn more about the history and people encountered in the story, along with tips for safe Internet surfing, encouraging independent learning. The lessons and topics covered make Fudge Factor ideal for keeping middle school minds active over the summer, or for starting discussions in a fall classroom setting.

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