Saturday, January 19, 2008


Jackson Jones and the Curse of the Outlaw Rose

by Mary Quattlebaum.

This is a short read, about the length of an early chapter book, but the language is higher-level. It might make a great one for a reluctant reader or someone intimidated by heftier volumes.

It's a nice early mystery, too, with a very relate-able young boy in an urban setting who loves basketball as the central character. It's not a whodunnit-style mystery, but rather a strange series of circumstances that lead his friend to believe that a rose cutting they snatched for a friend of the family might be cursed. Or perhaps, thinks Jackson, haunted. In the end, they return it to where it originated, only to discover a little extra background.

It's a nice light read with just a touch of spooky atmosphere, but not enough to give anyone any nightmares. I think it would make a great transition from Easy Readers into older fiction for a kid in in about grade 3 or 4, but as always, I suggest having the kid try reading a paragraph or two to see if it's a good reading level for them when you are looking at these kinds of steps up.

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