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THE SHADOW DIAMOND (The Second Adventure Begins)

Author: S. Brooke

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Publisher: PublishAmerica,

Material: paperback

Summary: The adventures of 10-year-old Becca Addison continue. In the last book, Becca and her family, having discovered their magical powers, used them to catch a kidnapper and robber. Richard Grant, the perpetrator, was caught, but he has since escaped. Rumor has it he plans to punish everyone responsible for catching and jailing him. Can Becca and her friends put the criminal back behind bars? Sounds like Richard has the upper hand this time. This is the second title in this fantasy adventure series for pre-teens.

Type of Reading: independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 13

Interest Level: 10 and up

Reading Level: 5.3

Age of Child: Read by a student at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, New Hope, MN. This was part of our Use Your ABCs classroom literacy project.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book because I thought it would be interesting and fun. I liked this book because it is a wonderful to read. Becca had a positive attitude. This made me want to read the first book.

Adult Reader Reaction: The author really knows her audience. She has a lot of familiarity with preteen girls and wants to educate as well as entertain her audience. That said, this is over-kill. The first book was very well done and a fun read. This sequel has a frenetic pace, with too much of everything to keep the reader engaged. Unfortunately the readers will probably lose interest and put the book on the shelf.

Pros: The author’s ability to capture the excitement, exuberance, frenetic behavior and attention span of adolescent girls is maintained. As a result, the characters are authentic, believable, and fun to know.

Cons: The efforts to sustain the adventure get bogged down with too many characters and too many sub-plots. Editing would have reduced some of the adventures, shortened tedious description and eliminated some of the dialect. This author has a lot of potential, and I hope she has a publisher who recognizes it.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is an enjoyable read for preteen and teenage girls.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE DIAMOND TRAITORS   ISABELLA ... AND THE ROOM OF LOST BROOMS   TOASTER POND

Educational Themes: The educational value of this book is that it is a fun read. If one is looking for a book that will be enjoyable and exciting, particularly for adolescent girls, this is a great choice.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 5.3
The author 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 - adventure, mystery, middle grade series

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2009, February 2010

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