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Sylvia McNicoll

Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic, 1990. 87pp paper, $3.50
ISBN 0-590-73742-2. CIP

Grades 2 to 4/Ages 7 to 9
Reviewed by Anna Santarossa.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Project Disaster is the story of a boy called Neil who is having problems adjusting to the fact that his mother is giving birth to yet another sibling; his bratty little sister is enough for him.

The impression I was left with after having read the novel was that it was all just a bit too neat and contrived. For example, when Neil drives his grandfa­ther's Firebird and smashes it into a pole, his father, who is a policeman, just happens to be driving home in his police cruiser.

When Neil's pet fish looks as if he is sick and may die, Neil stops his rescue attempts to play cards with his bratty little sister, who is bothering him. Even though Neil realizes that there is nothing more he could do, the abrupt manner in which he gives up trying to save his fish just does not ring true.

Then there is the episode in which Neil names his new brother. Neil suggests they name the baby after Wayne Gretzky and the parents readily agree.

This book is part of the "Shooting Star" series, which is designed for "newly independent" readers between the ages of seven and nine.

Children will be drawn to the attractive large-print format of the book. The book itself may appeal to children since it utilizes snakes and spiders, flashy cars, and superstars. However, the story itself falls short of the allure that is promised.

Anna Santarossa, Bolton, Ont.
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