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“Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Summary: It's lunch time, and the Gymnastics Club is meeting in a corner of the soccer field. Zuzu, Bean, and Emma are practicing their cartwheels. Ivy is guarding the jackets and watching ... the bathroom. It seems there's a ghost in there! The students were convinced, but the teachers weren't. Ivy needed Bean's help. They might need one of Ivy's magic potions. This is the second book in this series about two girls.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 7 to 10
Reading Level: 3.4
Age of Child: Read with and by a girl nearly 8 years old.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter got hooked on Ivy and Bean with Book 1, and raced through reading this one. She loved reading it aloud and often took it away from us so she could read on her own. She loves the humor and the girls' antics.
Adult Reader Reaction: We love Ivy and Bean, too, though we have to read it on our own more. Our daughter would ask for extra time to read the book at bedtime, so the next evening she'd be chapters ahead of where we were the night before. That has its benefits, as we would ask her to retell the story and could judge comprehension.
Pros: Everyone can enjoy this story about two girls and the events that fill their days. Although the main characters are girls, boys will also enjoy this book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. These are great stories, and even after finishing it, my daughter wanted to read it again.
Educational Themes: This is a story that's meant to be enjoyed "just because." That said, because the events are set in school, the teachers offer information for teaching the kids (i.e., imagination), and there are events that open the door to talk about bullying, behavior at school, choices and consequences, and sibling relationships.
Notes: This is a book from the reviewer's personal library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, friendship, easy reader series, school
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.