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Review of James to the Rescue!

broach_james to the rescueJames to the Rescue! [Masterpiece Adventures]
by Elise Broach; illus. by Kelly Murphy
Primary   Ottaviano/Holt   104 pp.
10/15   978-1-62779-316-2   $15.99   g
e-book ed. 978-1-62779-317-9   $9.99

There is something universally compelling about little critters having their own world, mostly hidden from adults (witness the staying power of the Littles, the Borrowers, and the Doll People), and Broach and Murphy (The Miniature World of Marvin and James, rev. 5/14) are back with another such story for new chapter-book readers. Marvin, a lovable beetle, is excited: he and his cousin Elaine are going collecting for the first time with Papa and Uncle Albert in the Pompadays’ apartment, where the beetles live behind a cupboard in the kitchen. When the other three all find treasures (a dime, a tack, and some used chewing gum), Marvin feels low. He eventually finds something interesting, but no one knows what it is. Then Uncle Albert is accidentally cut by a pair of nail scissors, and Marvin must enlist the aid of his best friend, the human James, who is both sensible and caring. Finding a story that beginning chapter-book readers can read and also want to read is no easy task, but Broach, aided by Murphy’s frequent detailed black-and-white illustrations, has created just that. The emotional connection between James and Marvin is clear, and the exciting plot compels readers to keep turning the pages. What did Marvin find that is so valuable to James? Will Uncle Albert survive his injuries? The possibilities for adventure are endless, and young readers and teachers looking for a quick, satisfying read (and read-aloud) for the early primary grades will enjoy this installment and look forward to many more.

From the September/October 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Robin Smith About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.

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