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Hutchins, Hazel.

Illustrated by John Richmond. Toronto, Annick Press, 1988. 118pp, paper, ISBN 1-55037-023-5 (cloth) $7.95, 1-55037-022-7 (paper) $4.95. (Annick Young Novels). Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Grades 4 to 6
Reviewed by Beatrice E. Russell

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Casey Webber the Great is an intriguing story of a ten-and-a-half-year-old boy who has great dreams of becoming a famous magician. Casey and his sister Morgan were very good friends when they ran a lemonade stand previously. But as Morgan entered her teens, she became very critical of Casey and seemed to have forgotten their plans.

The story, treated with humour and imagination, describes the ways in which Casey tries to have a performance that will attract crowds. He finds an old magic jacket in his closet and finds that it really makes him invisible. On one occasion his friends, Max and T.J., are so amazed at his magic act that they ride their bikes around the area displaying the signs "World's Greatest Magician" and "World's Most Amazing Tricks." However, Morgan accuses Casey of just trying to attract attention.

The style is appropriate and holds the reader's interest by mentioning mysterious messages that arrive from an unknown source and warn them not to do too much of this magic.

The print is large and easy to read. The story is at a level suitable for the grades. It should appeal to readers because they will always be trying to find out more about how the magic actually works and where the messages are coming from.

The lessons that Casey and Morgan learn in the course of the story are not presented in a sermonizing manner.

Beatrice E. Russell, Lacombe, Alta.
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