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Summary: The first day of 4th grade, and Wobar is in trouble. Again! His new teacher and principal are none too happy (and they aren't thrilled with the bushy mustache, either). Certain that his future was filled with trouble and teasing, Wobar runs away to Grantham Mountain, where he meets Roxie, a cougar, and the two become fast friends. Their first adventure takes them to a haunted house, where they meet Simon the ghost, and learn his story and why he roams the earth. Together, Wobar and Roxie vow to help Simon find the long lost silver calumet (a peace pipe with the magical powers to stop war). With police and posses on their trail, is it possible that a b10-year-old boy and cougar can save the world? This is a a fantasy adventure for middle grade readers.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 10 and Up
Interest Level: 8 to 10
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: The premise of the story is exceptional. Because this is a fantasy, readers know going in to suspend belief and enjoy the boy-speaks-cougar communication. For the most part, the author effectively weaves in history and geography. There are times, though, when it is too obvious.
Pros: Short, action-filled chapters make Wobar a nice selection at bedtime.
Cons: While I understand the sentiment in the author and illustrator's relationship, the story deserves better illustration - and more of them. There are lots of opportunities in the story to create scenes that readers can explore as an adult reads the book. It might even lighten the amount of text (which can get repetitive and tedious at times).
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The short chapters and highly descriptive text make this a nice choice for dormant readers, as well as kids who like listening to adventures.
Educational Themes: Pull out a map! Wobar and Roxie travel many places east of the Mississippi River, and it would be fun for readers to track their journey visually.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.