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Ellis and The Magic Mirror Paperback – August 18, 2015
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"A fun adventure that teaches goodness and the power of friendship. It is a great book that helps take reluctant readers to the next level. The story is interesting and highlights the importance of team work and the unique characteristics each of us have that adds to the team. The sky is the limit with the adventures this crew can have! Such fun" ~ Mrs. Mommy Book Nerd blog
"A Children's Book 4 Geeks!When you read the first two or three pages of Ellis and The Magic Mirror, you're probably going to think that it's just a regular children's book with a generic... message that's supposed to come across to readers. Though shortly after...you'll realize it's much more than that. There are great lessons throughout the book that should not be overlooked. I highly recommend getting this book to share with young children. It's a great book to read to kids and you'll have as much fun reading it as they will listening to it." - Black Girl Nerds
"The vocabulary and reading levels are very appropriate for second and third grade readers. The...plot is great [and] kept my attention. I also like that the main characters are African-American children dealing with normal...lives. I have struggled to find books with African-American characters who are not stereotyped or set in a time period of racial struggle...great job!!! ." - M. Erb, 2nd Grade Teacher
"Delightful and unexpected. Young readers will thoroughly enjoy this book." - Tanya Barnett, Founder and CEO, Forever Free Books
From the Author
- It is unique in the world of early reader chapter books that typically leave vibrant illustrations at the front cover,
- It fills a growing need among parents and teachers for books that capture the attention of reluctant readers, (especially boys) while still moving their reading abilities forward, and
- It offers a diverse group of main characters who are doing cool things in a world that is modern and full of possibilities.
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There is a strong theme of friendship and working together in the story that I enjoyed, too. It showed the friends teaming up to both figure out the mystery around what the mirror was showing them and dealing with the trolls they discover. I also liked the sibling relationship between Ellis and Freddye. It was healthy. They bicker a bit, but the two clearly care for each other and work together well despite an age gap. I’m personally really tired of books with siblings that are at each other’s throats constantly (although I understand there are families where that is the case).
So a lot of times there are stories that I feel could be resolved more easily if children would just bring the problem to the attention of an adult. Particularly when things get dangerous. But then the kids just don’t for what appears to be no other reason than to drive the plot. I know that can be realistic to an extent, but I think it also runs counter to what we tell children to do in threatening situations. Ellis finds himself in a situation like that here, except the book gives two really good reasons for not telling adults. First, there is magic involved and it’s unlikely an adult would believe the kids. Second, Ellis has stolen the mirror from his dad and doesn’t want him to know that he has the mirror. I infinitely prefer stories where there are solid reasons for not telling an adult. I’m not sure if that’s a preference for me as an adult or someone who is very literal, but I am much more likely to willingly suspend my belief in what is going on and fall into the world of the story.
Once again the trim size a little large on this one and I wish it was a bit smaller. Also I don’t know if self published titles have this option, but most of them seem not to have the title and author printed on the spine. That means once they are shelved in the library they tend to disappear onto the shelf. Thicker books don’t disappear as much, but I try to leave them out on display as often as possible so they don’t get lost.
In all, a book worth putting on your shelf if you need a little magic and friendship in the early chapter book section.
I don't like the kindle formatting of 2 pages side by side along the length of the kindle. It would be better as one page to a kindle page. The letters were barely readable. I initially thought it was just the sample, bought it and realized that really was it and returned it. But my child still wanted it so I re-purchased it. My 8 year old daughter wears glasses so I wasn't happy about the formatting. See photos below comparing the first 2 which are these book to other kindle kid books.
I'd say it's for 2nd grade. My daughter loves to read and is reading chapter books with no illustration so she probably wasn't challenged by this. I couldn't read it myself as it was just too small...
This is definitely a great book to share with young readers who are ready to start reading or are reading chapter books.