Wednesday, August 27, 2014
EARLY CHAPTER BOOK: The Vanishing Coin by Kate Egan with Magician Mike Lane
ABOUT THE BOOK
Want to see something cool?
I can make that quarter vanish.
All it takes is a little magic…
Fourth grade was supposed to be a fresh start, but Mike’s already back in the principal’s office. He’s not a bad kid. He just can’t sit still. And now, his parents won’t let him play soccer anymore; instead he has to hang out with his new neighbor Nora, who is good at everything!
Then, Mike and Nora discover the White Rabbit. It’s an odd shop—with a special secret inside. Its owner, Mr. Zerlin, is a magician, and, amazingly, he believes Mike could be a magician, too. Has Mike finally found something he’s good at?
Mike makes for a fun character, one I think kids will be able to relate to easily. Mike doesn't mean to get in trouble all the time but he has a hard time focusing and sitting still in class. He and his parents have tried a number of different strategies to try to overcome this problem but without lasting success. Even worse, he has to spend his afternoons with Nora, the girl who can do everything well (at least in Mike's opinion). His frustration boils over in the dentist's office and he and Nora go for a walk where they discover The White Rabbit. On first glance the store appears to sell antiques but with closer examination its clear that there is more to the store than there appears.
When Mike discovers that he may have a knack for doing magic he throws himself into it whole-heartedly and discovers that maybe, just maybe, he has more magic inside of him than he ever knew. The inclusion of magic tricks and the fun illustrations make this quite appealing to the target audience. The way Mike uses his new found magic skills to face the boy who likes to torment him is a nice touch, but what I like the best is how Mike discovers that he too can do something well.