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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Thunder is a young desert turtle whose natural habitat near Majestic Mountain has been taken over by humans. Thunder, who was lucky to escape the damage of the bulldozers, lost his family, friends, and home. This is the story of Thunder’s search for a new home and new friends. Environment and consveration are the themes in this chapter book for middle grade readers.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 13
Interest Level: 8 to 13
Reading Level: 3.1
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending
Adult Reader Reaction: Thunder and his friends are lovable, memorable characters. There are all kinds of lessons to be learned, friendship, sharing, care for one another, appreciating personal differences, importance of habitat to all of the earth’s inhabitants, and more.
Pros: This is a good book, well worth sharing with children. The stories are similar to allegories whose primary function is to relate believable and interesting adventures. In this case, they also serve as a source of ethical and moral lessons for young readers.
Cons: The author chose to use the turtle’s vocabulary to tell the story, an acceptable and appropriate device. There were, however, a few instances where the vocabulary became too technical or descriptive and may be over the heads of the younger reader.
Borrow or Buy: This reviewer would buy the book. These stories easily lend themselves to discussions of “everyday” situations that occur with siblings, their friends, or classmates.
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