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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 32 star ratings
7 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
32
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    best for twwens and teens

    i found this book boring and uncreative. i believe my 9 year old son would have enjoyed it much more than i did.
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    Have not read the book

    I saw the movie but did not read the book, not yet anyway
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    Reading the book before the movie

    Always try to rad the book before the movie to have all the points to fill in where the movie misses. An easy read good for young readers
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    Well worth the read

    A great book particularly early teens who can empathize with Lewis, whose life seems to be finding that way to be accepted... to fit in. This is a magical story with many underlying messages.
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    Compelling adventure for mid-graders

    When I began, I wondered how Bellairs would write a compelling story within only eleven chapters. I could see that the text was much denser than typical chapter books, so clearly there was depth there, but how much of a story could happen in such a short space? It’s not that I doubted, but I was curious to see what he would do. Bellair’s solution was to keep the conflict simple with a slow build up to a quick resolution all while Lewis lived his life. This leads to my favorite part of the book: Lewis’s fair weather friend, Tarby. We all had a Tarby in school—friends by reason of convenience. When social pressures presented themselves, the so-called friend revealed how shallow they were by changing allegiances. Maybe we all weren’t like Lewis, however, who poured considerable energy into keeping Tarby’s interest. As for me, I could relate. It took me many years to discover the truest friends reciprocate. Lewis’ efforts weren’t just empty characterization that served as padding until the ending required Bellairs to wrap things up. Instead, their one-sided friendship provided opportunity for the story to advance. The friendship was vital to the story, even though it never had a happy ending. Bellairs wrote deftly in his constrained space, filling the book with sights and sounds. Such concrete details! It is this skill that impressed me so much, earning a “inspirational” standing. My only two complaints about the book is that, first, too often a new name/event/plot-point would be brought up in an “Oh! I forgot to mention” moment. In real life, we can miss seeing a friend for a few weeks and a whole lot of drastic living can occur during that space. Your friend could have experienced a death in the family, a career change, or an alien abduction, but in a book, sudden developments that aren’t developed on the page feel like they are pulled out of a hat. It’s a minor quibble, however, and didn’t impact my enjoyment. What did bother me, however, is that this ebook edition used low resolution images. They were so heavily compressed and pixelated that they were indistinguishable from smears and blots. Edward Gorey’s artwork deserved the extra bandwidth higher resolution images demand. As it was, I wonder why they bothered including the illustrations if they didn’t want people to see them. That being said, I feel I will be revisiting this series in the near future to learn what else Lewis gets up to.
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