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Martyn Godfrey.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic Canada, 1991.
86pp., paper, $3.50.
ISBN 0-590-74046-6. CIP.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson.

Volume 19 Number 6
1991 November

Suppers at the Bennett home include "Bugging Time," an opportunity for family members to share whatever is bothering them. When eight-year-old Selby Bennett expresses concern that neither her parents nor her grade 7 sister Melissa ever listens to her, she meets disagreement.

To make family members "hear," Selby concocts a plan to amaze everyone by predicting the future. At supper, she tells her father, the principal of Spruce Grove School, details about his next day's activities. Selby claims to have gleaned this information by being transported into the future via friend Eric Mercer's time machine. In actuality, Selby has simply peeked at the next day's entries in her father's date book.

When after two days of "successful" predictions Selby cannot get access to her father's planning diary, she uses his extra school key to "break into" the darkened building after hours with reluctant accomplice Eric in tow. Unfortunately, Selby's classroom story-buddy for the month of November has been Brian Butz, and his creative writing pieces concerning Grats, monsters that dwell in schools' boiler rooms and walk the night-time halls in search of "food," now begin to act on Selby's imagination. When the pair "see" Grats, mayhem ensues as the two fleeing students crash into tables covered with baked goods destined for next day's sale. Disaster, however, becomes success as the duo unwittingly captures a thief.

Godfrey has again demonstrated his capacity to produce a light, fun-filled read peopled with engaging characters. Gardo's dozen illustrations introducing each chapter plus a further eight full-page realistic illustrations scattered throughout the text reinforce the storyline in this large-print chapter book designed for newly independent readers.

Dave Jenkinson, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.
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