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Author: Jane Langton

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Moon recently moved into number 38 Waldon Street. Mr. Moon, claiming experience and authority as a forest ranger, began cutting down all the trees in his yard because they were diseased. Dr. Fred Hall and his family, the neighbors next door, started a campaign to save them. Besides, that centuries old tree straddled the property line, so it was their tree, too. When bizarre things begin to happen, it looks like the tree might be lost. This is the eighth title in this adventure series for Tweens.

Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 12

Interest Level: 8 and up

Reading Level: 6.5

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: This is an entertaining, suspenseful read for preteens. The story's tone is lighthearted, easy, friendly, and often humorous. Although the story starts out relaxed, the suspense, commotion, and adventure increase along the way. The resolution retains the suspense of the climax as the audience and main characters piece together the mysteries of their time with Mortimer Moon and the truth is revealed. The characters are so realistic and fit the molds of their age groups so well that they will appeal to readers who can relate to their thoughts and ambitions. This book is an engaging, mysteriously mystical, and fun read for kids from 8 to 12.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a well written and enjoyable mystery/fantasy story that adolescents will have fun reading. You don't have to turn too many pages to see that this is the work of a talented author whose experience and creativity produces quality children’s literature, not just stories.

Pros: Kids and adults can enjoy this book. The author will capture and sustain the attention of pre-teens, teens, and young adults alike.

Cons: None.


Educational Themes: This is a great book for building and sustaining a pre-teen's interest in reading. Without too much of a stretch, you can talk about communication, being a good neighbor, honesty, and conservation, to name a few.

Notes: The Reading Tub, Inc. reviewed an advance reader version of this book. Flesch Kincaid reading level 6.5

Literary Categories: fiction - adventure, fantasy, mystery, middle grade series

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2008

Other Reviews:


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