Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mason Dixon

This book was received from Young Adult Books Central and is reviewed there.

Mills, Claudia. Mason Dixon: Fourth Grade Disasters.
Mason is leery of starting fourth grade-- not only does it mean being away from Dog, whom he has come to love, it means that he will have to be in the Plainfield Platters singing group, since all fourth graders are. After a disastrous performance in kindergarten, he doesn't want to have anything to do with being on stage. His new teacher, Coach Joe, is pretty cool, and Mason starts working on a story about an inanimate object for class. He choses to write about a piano who doesn't want to play. His parents won't let him out of performing, and he thinks he can maybe get out of it, but things go awry. Dog eats the Puff the Plainfield dragon costume, and his very best friend Brody needs his help out of a tight spot-- can Mason overcome his fear and his dislike of everything in order to save him?
Strengths: This sequel to Mason Dixon: Pet Disasters is a good, quick read for reluctant elementary school students. My son would have loved these in first grade. I really liked the Guy Francis illustrations-- he would be great for even older middle grade covers.
Weaknesses: Again, I don't like Mason. He's neurotic, and it's probably his mother's fault. Maybe this is more intriguing to younger readers, but I like my characters to be likable!


Jennifer said...

I find it really annoying how polarized easy/intermediate realistic fiction like these are. The girls are all sassy, extroverted class clowns and the boys are all whiny wimps that are afraid of everything. Of course there are exceptions, but that's the bulk of them. I haven't noticed that most of the elementary school boys that show up at my library are this neurotic! I have a couple whiners but most of them are pretty normal kids.

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