Series: Be Your Own Duck Commander #1
Published by Tyndale on October 1, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Children's
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In this four-book juvenile fiction series featuring the popular Robertson family of Duck Commander and written by Phil's grandson John Luke Robertson (with Travis Thrasher), readers are invited to participate in the zany fun of the Duck Commander world. After a few chapters, readers can choose to go down different paths--all filled with humor and life lessons.
In this volume, Willie finds a mysterious wooden crate in the Duck Commander warehouse. Only John Luke is around, so the two of them open up the box and find a strange device. It turns out it's a time machine that looks a bit like an outhouse. Willie and John Luke test out the machine and find themselves journeying back and forth in time. They have crazy adventures but know they need to make it back to West Monroe. But will they make the right choices to get back at the right time?
The Duck Commander people have done a lot of weird things in the years they’ve been on television, whether it’s the goofy kind of weird (like the show in general) or the serious kind of weird (like standing up for their Christian beliefs and value). But Willie’s Redneck Time Machine, written by John Luke Robertson and Travis Thrasher, may just be the weirdest yet…and that’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.
I remember Choose Your Own Adventure books as those old thin paperbacks I got from the library as a child. The books were wonders to me because I had (almost) endless possibilities. The stories were goofy, the second-person narrative always a bit odd, but it was great fun. When Travis Thrasher, the folks at Tyndale, and the Robertsons sat down to figure out how to expand into YA fiction, something clicked with a Choose Your Own Adventure book. And so now we have Willie’s Redneck Time Machine, the first in a four book series called Be Your Own Duck Commander.
The concept would be ridiculous…except everything about Duck Dynasty is ridiculous and they’ve become a pop culture phenomenon because of that. This series is no different. The main story revolves around Willie finding an outhouse-shaped time machine in the shop, like something went wrong in the proofreading factory and instead of Doctor Who’s TARDIS, they got Doctor Poo’s TURDIS. Willie steps in and…well, anything can happen. Choose this decision and get thrown into the future. Choose this decision and be taken into the past. Maybe things work out, maybe they don’t. I intended to keep track of every possible story iteration, but I lost track after about twenty. I think I read every possible storyline…I think.
Thrasher and Robertson write well for the intended age group. They don’t take the story too seriously, and I feel like John Luke has the unique ability to write the characters in a way no one else could. But it’s more than just goofy fun. Mimicking the show, the book also teaches some life lessons along the way. Rather than be in-your-face about it, the themes flow naturally from the storytelling as readers experience firsthand the value of making good choices.
With its entertaining characters, hilarious dialogue, crazy situations, and overall goofy fun, I can guarantee that this is gonna be a bestseller. That’s a fact, Jack.