Friday, January 29, 2010

The Hidden Boy

Booklist (December 1, 2009 (Vol. 106, No. 7))
Grades 3-6. The Flint family, believing they’ve won a vacation in a lottery none of them remembers entering, are instead transported—with their neglected neighbor, Phoebe—to a magical and preposterously confusing land. At the center of the tale is Bea, a gritty girl determined to find her little brother, Theo, who seems to have disappeared as the magic tour bus entered Bell Hoot. To do so, she must mount a fight against warring clans, learn the language of honeybees, and dream about another mysterious boy named Ike. Her parents help by reading and making tattoos. Berkeley’s arch writing and his characters’ hilarious, pathos-inspiring temperaments and abilities make this magical stew both compelling and delightful. His jokes are within the grasp of a third-grader but will also delight adults reading this aloud to children. The world-building is just right for the target readers, who will definitely want more from the Bell Hoot Fables series.

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