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The Flinkwater Factor (The Flinkwater Chronicles #1) (Paperback)

The Flinkwater Factor (The Flinkwater Chronicles #1) By Pete Hautman Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the The Flinkwater Chronicles series.


Ginger must save her high-tech hometown from robots gone rogue in this “quirky, dryly funny” (Booklist) science fiction novel from National Book Award–winning author Pete Hautman.

Welcome to Flinkwater, Iowa, home of the largest manufacturer of Articulated Computerized Peripheral Devices in the world. If you own a robot, it probably came from Flinkwater.

Meet Ginger Crump, the plucky, precocious (and somewhat sarcastic) genius who finds herself in the middle of a national emergency when Flinkwater’s computers start turning people into vegetables. Mental vegetables, that is. In Ginger’s words, they’ve been “bonked.”

When Ginger’s father is bonked, she recruits her self-declared future husband, boy genius Billy George, to help her find the source of the bonkings. Soon they’re up against a talking dog, a sasquatch, and a zombie, while Flinkwater is invaded by an army of black SUVs led by the witless-but-dangerous Agent Ffelps from Homeland Security. Can Ginger get to the bottom of the bonkings, or will computer chaos reign forever?

About the Author

Pete Hautman is the author of National Book Award–winning novel Godless, Sweetblood, Hole in the Sky, Stone Cold, The Flinkwater Factor, The Forgetting Machine, and Mr. Was, which was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, as well as several adult novels. He lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at


Praise For…

"Middle grade fans of Carl Hiassen’s mysteries will enjoy Hautman’s inventive characters and plot."
— School Library Journal

"Hautman weaves the plot threads together cleverly, but it’s Ginger’s dry humor, an equally colorful supporting cast, and the lore (and tech) of Flinkwater that make the story so enjoyable."
— Publishers Weekly

"Fast, funny episodes featuring creative takes on close-to-reality science."
— Kirkus Reviews

"Hautman, a National Book Award winner, makes his first foray into middle grade with this quirky, dryly funny offering of a maybe-future."
— Booklist

"Fast-paced action, quirky characters, and amusing dialog make this a quick, fun read with a satisfying conclusion."
— School Library Connection
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481432528
ISBN-10: 1481432524
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: The Flinkwater Chronicles