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Author: Doris Schick

Illustrator: Mary Knudson Schulte

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Publisher: A Weasel Book, Galde Press, Inc.,

Material: paperback

Summary: As summer begins, Missandra moves into a new house out in the country. Without companions, she begins to imagine two friends to share time with. While exploring the house one day, she enters a room that seems magical … and there in the mirror are the friends she'd created. Missandra is thrilled when she discovers that she can join her friends, and makes daily visits to spend time together. This is a middle-reader fantasy.

Type of Reading: independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 8 to 12

Reading Level: 6.5

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: The Summer of Missandra is a well-written story of the escapades of the main character. The characters are strong and realistic, with well-built relationships that young readers can connect with. The fantastical characters are unique, original, and expand upon the types of mystical characters already part of the story. The plot is exciting, with twists and turns which capture the reader's interest. Descriptions and details are rich and innovative, which add to the book’s originality. However, the storyline is slightly typical and follows the overall structure of many other fantasy books. Overall this is a thrilling and adventurous fantasy.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an imaginative story that moves along quickly until Missandra and her friends travel into "space." At that point the story bogs down in detail. I was disappointed that the author glossed over Missandra's issues with her self-image. The answers offered by other characters were clich

Pros: Pre-teens will relate to Missandra's desires to be somewhere exotic and change their self image. The story moves along well.

Cons: The author could have done more to develop lessons for young girls. If you don't like mystical stories with references to sorcery, then this isn't your book.

Borrow or Buy: Skip it. There are other fantasy books out there with stronger youth characters.

If You Liked This Book, Try: 3 DOORS: CHOOSE WISELY   GALAHAD 1: THE COMET'S CURSE   RAIRARUBIA (The Rairarubia Tales, Book 1)

Educational Themes: The story does not fully address some of the issues that could give the book added value for teens (I.e., self-image, self esteem, loneliness).

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, mystery, magic, middle grade, magic

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2005

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