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Summary: The Town Council has decided to close the Latimer Road Library. Jack and Podge were worried ... until they realized the assistant librarian was Ms. Wiz. Then they were really worried! When the fateful day came that they had to face down the Chief Leisure Officer, Ms. Wiz had nothing but some fish powder. What magic could that fish powder possibly offer to save a "room full of books"? This is an illustrated chapter book series for transitional readers (second and third grade)
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read, illustrated chapter, transitional reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 10
Reading Level: 4.1
Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter laughed from cover to cover with this one. She was about halfway through and then went back to the front of the book to find all of the other titles in the series to see if we had them around.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a clever, fun book. Although set in England, the book is accessible to new readers and the English words not so different that kids can't use context to figure out what is happening.
Pros: Books come to life as two boys and their less-than-polished friend try to save a community library from closing.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is fun, but you're not likely to keep it forever.
Educational Themes: Kids will pick up this book for a quick read. The large type and illustrations (not to mention some of the humor) will appeal to readers transitioning to longer chapter books. It wouldn't take too much stretching to draw out the theme of community efforts.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, humor, series
Date(s) Reviewed: August 2010
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