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Summary: Tommy wants to visit his grandparents in Florida, but he doesn't like to fly. But his mom has already bought the tickets. How can he possibly get from Arizona to Florida? His best friend Marissa, the scientist, has a plan: teleporting. With some research, scientific calculations, and some successful tests, Marissa thinks she has perfected the process. Punch the numbers ... Poof. Tommy is off. Will he make it to Florida? This is a fantasy chapter book for young readers.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 6 to 9
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a very quick, somewhat predictable read. I loved that the story is built to engage young readers, but given the level of detail (like the description of Marissa's room), it would have been nice to have a few illustrations. It was disappointing that Marissa was left out at the end. With a little more depth and fewer leaps of faith, this could be a great story. This book is labeled on Amazon as a title for kids ages 4 to 8. Given the level of visualization required and some of the concepts, that's too young.
Pros: This is a fast-paced chapter book that boys will like (there's baseball and technology) and girls can enjoy, too (because the "hero" scientist is a girl).
Cons: Using vernacular like wanna for "want to" is Okay, but not for kids just learning to read or remedial readers who still need more "white space" on the page.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. There are some great fantasy chapter books for this audience. This is a story with a unique plot; you don't spend enough time with the characters (even Tommy and his fear) to really empathize with them.
Educational Themes: This book is full of imaginative ideas, and could easily encourage kids to "think outside the box." Where would they want to go "in an instant"? What kind of machine would they build? etc. The fantasy element is great, but so, too, is the idea that fear is Okay, too. That's something else you can talk about.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, easy reader series
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2007
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