What It Is About: Ava life is about to change and all because of a pencil. As she doodles in her notebook she writes a question she has about a test she is taking. She is completely surprised when a voice gives her the answer to her question. After some practice with the pencil, she shares this startling information with her best friend Sophie. They can't believe the luck they have because of this magical pencil. They begin to ask questions for tests at school, about their personal lives, and about the lives of family members. Some of the answers they get they love and some they aren't so sure they want to know. Ava is especially concerned when she gets information from this pencil about her own mother and grandfather. With this information, she must decide if she is going to rely on the pencil for the answers or leave them up to herself and real life.
What I Thought Of It: I found this to be an enjoyable read. Kate Messner creates another awesome story with this novel. The plot is unique and fun to read. The mystery of the pencil was intriguing. I enjoyed the characters of Ava and Sophie and the interactions they had with the pencil. I also thought the idea of the pencil only answering certain types of questions was interesting. One of the many strong aspects of the story was the relationship that Ava had with her friend Sophie, her mother, and her grandfather.
Who Should Read It: The great thing about Kate Messner is that she "gets" kids. She writes the perfect book for the middle-grade reader. This novel is perfect for a fourth, fifth, or sixth grade student. It would also make for a great read aloud for classes in grades three through six. I'm actually thinking of trying to fit this novel in this spring as a read aloud to my fourth grade class. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars