________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 15 . . . . March 29, 2002

cover Bats Out of the Window. (A First Flight Chapter Book).

Sharon Jennings. Illustrated by John Mardon.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001.
64 pp., pbk., $5.95.
ISBN 1-55041-678-2.

Subject Headings:
Friends-Fiction.
Summer-Fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Joan Simpson.

*** /4

In this brief book, Sharon Jennings has created a beginning reader mystery with definite child appeal. Sam's boring summer becomes interesting when he discovers that his idol, Barry Adams, will be the child star in a movie to be shot on his street. Sam and his best friend, Simon, are amateur detectives, and it is Officer Green, a partner in solving crimes, who helps them to land spots as extras and meet Barry. One day, Sam and Simon stay too long on the set and witness a crime for which they are blamed. Of course, they manage to prove their innocence and solve the crime. While not great literature, this is a good contemporary story. The crisp and sometime sarcastic dialogue and unintentional misbehavior of the boys are so typical. The old grouch villain and the friendly helpful police officer are stereotypical adults, but this will support the comprehension of young readers rather than annoy them. One helpful full page black and white illustration appears in each chapter. For those interested in codes, an explanation of a code used by Sam is provided at the end of the book. Bats Out of the Window is recommended for recreational reading.

Recommended.

Joan Simpson is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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