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Summary: Rob has a closet full of books and science experiments. One day, a little creature came out from the closet. The creature was a combination of Willy Wonka and Frankenstein, so Rob named him Wonkenstein. Together, Rob and Wonkenstein go on many exciting adventures. Rob is a very troubled kid and Wonkenstein is on a mission to help Rob. But what happens when his mission is over? This is the first title in this middle grade fantasy series.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reader, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 and Up; read yourself: 11 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: I liked this book because of how Wonkenstein helped Rob through his problems. They had lots of adventures and had so much fun doing them. It was so sad when Wonkenstein had to leave when he finished his mission. The story is very suspenseful and has a great mystery. Fantasy lovers will like it too because there are lots of made-up characters. This is a quick read that you can finish in just a few days. You will absolutely love the excitement this was a great little book.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Lots of action and humor combine in this mystery/fantasy for preteens. It will also appeal to remedial readers as a high interest / low readability book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. If Book 1 is a hit, then I would buy several of these.
Educational Themes: This is a series meant to engage preteens who often stop reading for fun, but there are definitely themes worth bringing to life. One would be to ask kids what kind of imaginary creature would emerge from the stuff in their closet. The story has a number of life lessons for kids that it presents with humor and in a "back-handed" way. For example, Rob doesn't like to read but he has to go to the library (doing things you don't like to do).
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from the local library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, mystery, humor, series
Date(s) Reviewed: November 2013
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.