What It Is About: Clay and his brother Max Ernest had always liked magic. They enjoyed performing "bad magic". One day Clay's older brother up and disappeared and Clay was left alone with his parents. Clay had a magic book and discovered the words "Magic Sucks' in the book. When he showed up at school those same words were written on the school wall. His English teacher was left in charge of Clay's consequence for this action, even though he swore he wasn't responsible for the words left on the wall. The English class was in the middle of performing Shakespeare's play The Tempest. The teacher was quite obsessed with the works of Shakespeare and Clay wasn't sure why, but he was going to find out. His teacher sent him to "Earth Ranch" which was an island out in the middle of nowhere. From the moment Clay was picked up by a "strange" pilot and his dog, his adventure to this island would be no ordinary camp visit. Once on the island, Clay experiences many strange and different things, but a Llama, to strange bees, to a mysteries girl in a library tower. At first he wants to get off this island, but then he decides to figure out what is really going on and why he was sent to this island. What he learns will completely surprise him and finally give him some answers about his missing brother Max Ernest.
What I Thought Of It: From the very first page I knew I was going to enjoy this newest novel. The writing style is fun, different, and full of twists and turns. Clay was an awesome character to read about and fun to follow his adventure on this crazy island. The biggest factor that kept me interested was the whole mystery of what was truly happening to Clay and what was happening on this strange island. As I was reading, I kept thinking how much young readers were going to enjoy this story. I look forward to the next books in the new series.
Who Should Read It: I read this book via my computer, but it appears that the actual book will be a combination text and illustrated novel. In my opinion, it is perfect for readers in grades four and five. Fluent readers in third grade could also handle it well because it would be such high interest. I'm sure it would also work for readers in grade six. I can't decide if I will use this as a read aloud or a possible "Breakfast with Books" book club selection. I'm thinking it would make a terrific read aloud because each chapter leaves the reader/listener on the edge of their seat wanting to know what is going to happen next. Happy Reading...
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars