The Book

"The Absolutely True Story . . . How I Visited Yellowstone Park With the

Terrible Rupes" by Willo Davis Roberts

This is the longest title in our book club series this summer, but the pages of this mystery will fly by.

The Terrible Rupes aren't a rock band, they're the people who have moved in next door to almost-12-year-old twins Lewis and Alison Dodge in Washington state. When the Rupes invite the twins along on their trip to Yellowstone -- to keep their older son company and help watch their two younger children -- Lewis and Alison are thrilled. After all, the Rupes seem fun; they have lots of toys and games and they let kids eat whatever they want, even white bread and Twinkies. The group will be traveling in a rented motor home equipped with a TV, VCR and ice maker, and packed with junk food.

It's only later that Lewis and Alison realize that the Rupes are careless, rude and selfish, and that Mr. Rupe can't drive worth beans. As if this weren't enough to almost completely spoil their enjoyment of Yellowstone's bubbling mud, erupting geysers and wild animals, something else is going on. Two men seem to be following the twins and the Rupes. But who would be interested in a bunch of loud, messy, disaster-spreading sightseers?

-- Elizabeth Chang