My fourth-graders would have loved this. It's only been 5 years since retirement, so I'm sure they still will. It's all about what 4th through 6th grade students do, think about, how they communicate, and even the color-out-of-the-lines rule breaking. What's not to like for a kid.
But hold your laser pointer, teachers. It's also an educational tool. The chapters are defined in relation to terms connected with writing, poetry specifically. This is a golden opportunity to use in a classroom to integrate reading and writing. Since one of the students is involved in a special project of making a 4-0 classroom newspaper, students also learn terms and specifics related to publishing. What great fun to have the class produce a newspaper while the books chapters are being consumed and poems are being written, illustrated, and published for distribution.
In the book, siblings Jessie and Evan return as 4-0 students. One is the active news reporter, and class brain. The other is a normal-to-struggling academic who's secretly found a liking to poetry and. . . and, heaven forbid, a 4-0 girl. There are many threads of events happening to keep the students interest throughout the read. Also several secrets that must be uncovered. Student sleuths, of course. Some moral must be considered, another class discussion opportunity.
Font size is large enough it makes 200 pages of the story pass quickly, holding upper elementary/ middle school interest. Beware, teachers, you may find students breaking the rules and . . . and . . . reading ahead. Because of the candy mystery involved, it takes place around Valentine's Day, but it will easily be of interest to kids at any season of the year.
A perfect gift book for a young reading enthusiast.