________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 4 . . . . October 10, 2008

cover

Martin Bridge in High Gear!

Jessica Scott Kerrin. Illustrated by Joseph Kelly.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2008.
111 pp., pbk. & hc., $6.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55453-157-8 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55453-156-1 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Cooperation - Juvenile fiction.
Generosity - Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Jane Bridle.

*** /4

excerpt:

Martin heard the dull thump of suitcases being set down on the driveway, so he knew he should finish up in the garage.

Instead he continued his attempts to un-jam the gears on his bicycle, while trying to ignore the disconcerting sounds.

"Martin," his mom sang out. "Aunt Laverne has arrived."
"Be right there," Martin replied as politely as he could muster.

At dinnertime only two days earlier, he had been told that Aunt Laverne would be coming for a three week visit. Martin could barely finish his chocolate pudding when he heard that unhappy news.

Aunt Laverne was really Martin's great-aunt on his father's side. But there was nothing great about her.

This engaging early chapter book is the sixth title in the popular Martin Bridge series. The first of two stories, "Science Fair," explores the frustrations of working on a group project, trying to share the work equally and being fairly acknowledged for your efforts. Martin is teamed up with a fellow student, Gibson, who is known for his ability to get away with doing little. Although contributing in a minor way to the team's project, Gibson wins a prize in the draw. In the end, however, Martin and the rest of the team receive A++ for their efforts.

   In the second story, "Bicycle," Martin's brand new bike is stolen. When he volunteers to work at a bicycle shop in return for a recycled bike, he learns not only how to rebuild a bike but the rewards of helping disadvantaged children who cannot afford to purchase a new bike. A last segment includes practical advice on preventing bicycle theft.

   Kerrin has created a winning protagonist in Martin who has gained a following among young readers. The large type and spacious design is complemented by Joseph Kelly's appealing black and white drawings. This addition to the "Martin Bridge" series is a rewarding choice for young children beginning to read independently.

Recommended.

Jane Bridle is a librarian with Winnipeg Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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