About the Book…

Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction by Kevin Sylvester was our next selection.  A complete 360 from The Breadwinner; I suppose the girls wanted a bit of a light read for once!  The Aztec Abduction is the second book in the Neil Flambe series, the first of which (Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders) won the Silver Birch Fiction award for 2011.  Excited by the prospect of reading another potential winner (and having a good laugh) they voted unanimously.  I don’t think that’s ever happened in the history of the Bookworm Bookclub!

Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction follows a 13-year old chef-turned-detective to his next cooking competition in Mexico.  The world competition turns into an adventure when Neil’s love interest is kidnapped.  Snippets of Aztec history are humourously woven into the story, so the kids were learning without even realizing it.

What We Did…

There were activities for this book on the Neil Flambe website, but not much in the way of discussion questions.  I could have created some questions on whether competitions are healthy and following your dreams no matter what, but where’s the fun in that?  Instead I came up with a cooking competition of our own:

  1. The Nose Knows – Smell each sample and write down your guesses.   Remember to clear your sniffer with the cleansing scent occasionally! (I used cinnamon, vinegar, mint, chocolate, and pepper with a lemon wedge to cleanse the ‘ol nostrils!)
  2. Hard-boiled Egg Race – How fast you can de-shell a hard-boiled egg? Points for neatness!
  3. Make a Face – Using the secret ingredient (hard-boiled eggs!) and other foods available, make a face on your plate that is both creative and delicious in 20 minutes.

The results were amazing:

He looks a little confused…
Love the eyebrows!
I think someone needs a shave!
What a pretty girl!
Is he angry (eyebrows) or happy (mouth)?

We still talked about how competition shouldn’t get in the way of friendships and family, but this particular competition was the highlight of the afternoon!

EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE: Neil Flambe and The Aztec Abduction Activities

In Conclusion…

I think this was one of our most fun meetings ever.  A great March Break read, lots of activity, and we got to play with our food! 🙂


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An avid reader of practically anything and trying to share that passion with my kids and anyone else that will listen!


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