Tuesday, July 14, 2015

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEWS: The Five O'Clock Ghost/Secret of the Water Dragon


Kaz and Claire are back for a timely mystery in this adorable series by Edgar Award winner Dori Hillestad Butler!

Kaz and Claire are called in for another ghostly mystery, and this ghost is always right on time. When Claire's friend tells the young detectives about his five o'clock ghost, Kaz wonders if it could be his own missing brother, Little John. Kaz and Claire search the house up and down, but they can't find any trace of Little John--or any other ghost. Yet when five o'clock comes along, the strange occurrences come back again...


The Haunted Library series is one of my favorite series for young readers.  Not only are they easy to read but the mysteries are interesting and the characters fun.  I was a bit startled when I thought I'd figured out the answer to the mystery of the strange occurrences of five o'clock and I turned out to be wrong.  Usually with this type of mystery I'm able to figure out the answer long before the ending, but here it turned out to be something else.  Those kind of surprises are always fun.  Plus, it's fun watching Kaz grow into his ghostly powers as he continues to search for his missing family.  


Drake and the rest of the Dragon Masters are back for another adventure!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In this third book in the series, someone is trying to steal the Dragon Stone. Drake soon discovers that the thief is his friend and fellow Dragon Master, Bo! Could the dark wizard somehow be behind this? The Dragon Masters must find a way to protect the Dragon Stone--and keep Bo's family out of danger. Will the secret to solving their problems lie with Bo's dragon, Shu? Drake is about to find out!


Since one can never have too many dragon books it's nice to have a series that works well for early chapter book readers.  Not only are the stories fun with lots of action but the illustrations are pretty awesome as well.  The illustrations are mixed in nicely with the text making the text not so intimidating.  Secret of the Water Dragon is the third book in the series and focuses on Bo and his dragon whose powers are revealed as the story progresses.  Bo receives a letter that leads him to try to steal the Dragon Stone.  After he tells the others why he did this, the others try to help him rescue his family and stop the dark wizard from getting his hands on the stone.  A fun-filled adventure with themes of courage, friendship, and loyalty mixed in throughout the story.

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