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Summary: After a family expedition searching for Monarch butterflies, David meets Houdin, a wizard from Remin, who has been cursed to life as a Monarch butterfly by Thane, a wizard who has taken over Remin. Houdin needs David's help to restore tranquility. This is part of a middle-reader adventure series.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 12 and up
Interest Level: 9 and up
Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ Read by student at Woodside Magnet High School for Arts and Communication (Newport News, VA)
Young Reader Reaction: BTSYA: I got to page 85 and called it quits. All the characters are incredibly undefined, so it’s really hard to get involved with them or care about them. This is not a compelling story. Woodside: I didn't really like the book; it would never happen. The pictures were Okay, though.
Adult Reader Reaction: The adventures, characters, challenges, and magic make the book an exciting and rewarding read.
Pros: The story is action packed and moves quickly. The characters are unique and the magic and wizardry are believable. Its structure, content, and pace, make this a great book for a middle school/junior high school reader.
Cons: There are two camps on this book. The parental reviewer thought the author hit a bulls-eye. The Teen Reviewer sees the author as cutting short key plot elements: the author could tell us more about who David is. Instead of taking the reader through the thought process that leads David to make his decisions, the author rushes us through the scene as if he (the author) has no confidence in his ability to describe it or assumes the reader has no patience to hear about it.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This book is worthy of purchase for a 10—12 year old. This is not a one time read. The young reader will find the story exciting and the characters (Thane the exception) to be friends. They will revisit Remin often. Target Audience reviewers: Skip.
Educational Themes: An underlying theme in the book is the life cycle and habitat of the Monarch butterfly. Readers will also draw from examples of accepting and appreciating individual differences and talents, as well as the importance and value of teamwork.