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THE SCIENCE FAIR FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (Black Lagoon Adventures, No. 4)

Author: Mike Thaler

Illustrator: Jared Lee

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Publisher: Scholastic Inc.,

Material: paperback

Summary: For this year's science fair, Mrs. Green wants everyone to be an inventor. Hubie is really frustrated he can't think of anything that hasn't already been invented ... or is being done by a classmate. Finally, he narrows it down to two ideas: he will clone himself OR he'll make a laugh machine. Which will it be? And will it be enough to pass Mrs. Green's class? This series is a cross between an illustrated chapter book and a graphic novel.

Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, illustrated chapter

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 and up

Interest Level: 7 to 10

Reading Level: 3.6

Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter selected the book, sat down at the table, and then read it cover to cover aloud (64 pages). She laughed her way through the story and was quick to point out all of the plays on words.

Adult Reader Reaction: We had heard about this series at school, as our daughter's third grade teacher reads these aloud to the class. We can see why. The stories are clever, fast-paced, funny, and sneak in learning. It was fun to see her so excited about reading that she wanted to read it all to us in one sitting. This is a fun, wholesome read.

Pros: Lots of action, humor that is fun for adults and kids, and laugh-out-loud moments make this fun to share together ... or to let transitional readers enjoy independently.

Cons: There is very little potty humor (Hubie burps as part of his laugh machine), and none of it is gratuitous. Still, if you are completely averse to body humor, you might want to skip it.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. These are books that are fun to share and kids will come back to them so they can "use" some of the jokes and humor with their friends.

If You Liked This Book, Try: BIG NATE: IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF   BUBBA BEGONIA, YOU'LL BE SORRY!   ANDY SHANE AND THE QUEEN OF EGYPT

Educational Themes: This is a book meant to encourage reading and help transitional readers (third and fourth grade). Still, there is plenty to talk about: science concepts; scientists and inventors; riddles and double entendre; and of course the creative process (whether it is for the science fair or writing).

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. This is a book from her personal library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, science, humor, easy reader series, graphic novel, school

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2010

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