The Quest of Danger (Volume 4) by Stuart Gibbs

Stuart Gibbs prolific output of adventure stories for middle-grade readers is impressive. Spy School, Moon Base Alpha, Fun Jungle and many others have been bestsellers for a reason. He knows his audience; they want humour, action, and relatable characters. Gibbs’s volume of books doesn’t diminish the quality of his stories, and most importantly, kids devour them. 

In the fourth book of the Once Upon a Tim series, our heroic peasant Tim, and his friends and knights-in-waiting, Belinda, Ferkle, Rover, and Princess Grace have been tasked with retrieving the trident of King Neptune. They set sail for Atlantis, and cross the Sea of Terror with the evil Prince Ruprecht at their heels. Though the book-length, language and sentence structure will be more than comfortable for lower middle-grade readers, older kids (and this adult) will also appreciate the wry humour, consistent breaking of the fourth wall and breakneck plot. Playfully interrupting the story, Gibbs winks at the reader with IQ Boosters vocabulary lessons, using words such as inconspicuous and curmudgeonly, which seamlessly and hilariously play into the story. Young readers will appreciate the boost to their vocabulary without feeling like it’s homework. The quirky illustrations throughout by Stacy Curtis match the chaotic silliness of the story.

Like any good quest, the heroes face peril and villains while demonstrating their bravery and friendship with each other. The Quest of Danger is a clever read that pokes fun at the tropes of the classic narrative and will have kids of all ages laughing out loud.

Stuart Gibbs is currently at work on several more books — and the screenplay for Spy School the movie. You can learn all about them at

  • The Quest of Danger (Volume 4) by Stuart Gibbs
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Nov. 7 2023)
  • Length: 176 pages
  • ISBN13: 978-1665917476
  • Grades: 2 – 5
  • Ages: 7 – 10