Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's Elementary: Bamboozled on Beaver Island

Wow, I haven't written a book review since Banned Books Week, back in September.  Color me sheepish - especially since I'd promised a few authors reviews of their books.

It's spring break around here this week, so I'm only working one of my jobs this week.  (Still 40 hours over five days, but I get to sleep in most days and leave early a couple times.)  And I am actually making good on promises.

Today, let me tell you about the first book in the Holly Wild series by Michigan author Lori Taylor.

Checkouts: Just talked a student into it last week!
Typical reader: Michigan middle elementary children
Source: The author, at the Outback Art Fair last summer

Synopsis: Holly Wild wants to do something heroic.  Will she have the opportunity to do so with her friends on a trip to Beaver Island?

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars

This is an illustrated novel in the vein of the ever-popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dork Diaries, but significantly less "woe am I" than your average contemporary kids' fiction diary.  Sure, Holly is not necessarily popular, but she doesn't wallow in it.  This is a strong female character, with a healthy interest in adventure and science!  Holly likes squishy, icky, gross things, and can use the scientific method to figure things out.  Rejoice.

I am not big on mysteries, and I will say that I winced when I realized that there was a mystery to solve.  However, this won me over with how fun and adventurous the escapades of Holly, her grandmother, and her friends Sierra and Tierra (twins, obviously) are.  It also encourages the reader to get out and explore the natural world.

This is the first book in a series of at least three novels, all set in Michigan.  It's perfect for children in second through fourth grades.

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