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“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” More
Publisher: HarperTrophy, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Summary: Summer vacation is here, and A.J. is heading to the beach for 12 weeks. No school for 2,016 hours! [A.J. may hate school, but he can count!] When Andrea (his classmate) is going to be at the beach, too, A.J. decides his life is ruined. Thankfully, Andrea has a crush on Mr. Sunny, the lifeguard who loves to build sandcastles. That gives A.J. and his friends time to figure out what they're going to do: dig their way to China? search for buried treasure? save Andrea from a shark? So much to do ... This is the second title in this illustrated chapter book series for kids learning to read.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, learning to read, transitional reader, illustrated chapter, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 6 to 10
Reading Level: 2
Age of Child: Read with and by a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: "This is so funny, Mama." Our daughter loved the slapstick elements of the story and the kids' all-round silliness. When she saw the questions on the back, she immediately had to turn it upside down to get the answers, and then wanted to dig in.
Adult Reader Reaction: Dan Gutman has kids' sense of humor and social skills nailed. This is definitely a kids-will-be-kids story, filled with funny events and some unique characters. The illustrations are "snapshots" of the various characters, so it is the story that drives the book, not the pictures. There is your typical exchange between kids (nah-nah-nah-boo-boo), but all in all it is a wholesome read.
Pros: A third-grader's sense of humor and curiosity come together for this fun-filled book about summer at the beach. This is an excellent choice for reluctant or remedial readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow or buy. These are fun stories to read, and kids will relate to them. They would be an excellent choice for a classroom, school or local library.
Educational Themes: This is a good transitional reader for kids who are moving away to text-only stories. Fast paced, funny stories will engage reluctant and remedial readers.
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.