Rereading: THE CLOCKWORK TWIN by Walter R. Brooks

Cover and illustrations by Kurt Wiese

This is the fifth book in the Freddy series by Brooks, but he was still finding his way and introducing new characters that would become regulars as the series went on. The story begins with a massive flood near the farm where Adoniram Smith lives with his aunt and uncle, who work him hard and treat him poorly. Watching the rising waters from a summer house on the edge of the river, Adoniram rescues a dog from the water. It’s a talking dog named Georgie, and the two are happy to meet. Soon the entire summer house is swept into the river by a large floating tree, and the Smith farm is left far behind. In the flood they rescue a rooster named Ronald, who can also talk. In a large town, their floating tree lodges against a large department store, and the three riders break in, finding it has food to keep them all alive. Later, as the flood recedes, they meet Freddy the pig and Jinx the cat, off on an expedition from the Bean Farm. They bring the lost animals back with them. Georgie’s owner was a boy who looked just like Adoniram, and they hope to find that boy, who might be his twin, but meanwhile, Uncle Ben, a clever inventor, creates a clockwork twin for him to play with. Then Adoniram’s aunt and uncle show up to collect him, they want him back to do all their farm work. Mr. and Mrs. Bean want to adopt Adoniram, but can’t stand against the law, so it’s up to the animals to save the boy. What can they do against a stubborn farmer with a shotgun? Freddy has a plan.

New characters introduced here that would often return are Mr. Bean’s eccentric Uncle Ben, the inventor, and Mrs. Church, a wealthy woman who takes to Freddy and the other farm animals and sometimes helps them. Great fun and recommended.

The Clockwork Twin by Walter R Brooks

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