CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Maureen Bayless
Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic Canada, 1993. 72pp, paper, $3.95
ISBN 0-590-74759-2. (Shooting Star). CIP

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

Because her parents have yet to attend a single parent-teacher meeting, Abra Kadabra is experiencing major teacher problems. Miss Karp, suspecting that Abra's explanations for her "Historian" parents' repeated absences are just a child's way of masking parental neglect, threatens to call Granite Falls' social worker and have Abra placed in a foster home if Abra's parents do not come to the school's Olden Days Fair.

While Abra knows her parents are most willing to attend the fair, she also recognizes that no one, other than herself, would be able to see the 165-year-olds, as they are ghosts who become invisible when they leave their home via the front door. Exiting through the back door, however, allows Ma and Pa, plus Abra's nanny, Goldpan Annie, to roam the B.C. Cariboo as it was during the nineteenth-century gold rush.

Finally Abra finds the solution: if the Kadabras cannot come to the teacher, then Miss Karp must go to them. Abra convincingly explains that the interior of the Kadabra home, unchanged since it was constructed in 1862, plus the senior Kadabras' pioneer ways, are really an alternate Olden Days Fair and evidence of her parents' loving and caring.

The tongue-in-cheek "what if" plot, sprinkled with caricature adult characters, win offer beginning chapter book readers much light reading fun. Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and young adult literature in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Manitoba
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais