________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 13. . . .November 25, 2011

cover

Ben the Inventor. (Orca Echoes).

Robin Stevenson. Illustrated by David Parkins.
Victoria, BC: Orca Books, 2011.
60 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-55469-802-8.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Robert Groberman.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advanced Reading Copy.

   

excerpt:

By the time Jack arrived, Ben had already begun work.

"What are you building?" Jack asked.

"Another catapult," Ben said. "Sort of."

Jack looked worried. "Do you think that's a good idea?"

"It's a great idea," Ben said. "Listen. You don't want to move, right?"

Jack sat down on the grass and crisscrossed his legs. "Right."

"And if no one buys your house, you won't have to."

 

Ben the Inventor, by Robin Stevenson, is an early chapter book about two best friends who discover that one of them is moving away with his family. They decide to create havoc around the sale of the house, including spreading rumors at the house's open house that the roof needs replacement and by throwing weeds all over the front lawn to send buyers away.

internal art     Ben and Jack are best friends and neighbours. One goes to school, and the other is home schooled. What they have in common is their imaginations during playtime, a time when they invent things out of neighbourhood junk.

      Stevenson creates two characters that are smart and kind and easy for boys to identify with. Readers will get a sense that they will really miss each other when Jack's house is sold. Illustrations by David Parkins help in comprehension of the story, especially when he draws the complicated inventions and the climactic scene when the boys attend the open house viewing, one on the other's shoulders, covered in a cape, masquerading as an adult.

Recommended.

Robert Groberman is a grade two teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School in Surrey, BC.

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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