________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 31. . . April 21, 2017


Tank and Fizz: The Case of the Missing Mage.

Liam O’Donnell. Illustrated by Mike Deas.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2017.
195 pp., pbk., pdf & epub., $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1258-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1259-8 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1260-4 (epub).

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Elaine Fuhr.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



“If you want to see Mr. Lorof, you have to follow me.” Aleetha stepped back and lifted into the sky. She rose on a swirling wave of air like an ember from a summer fungi fire.

“That looks like fun.” River jumped into the center of the room and flew into the air, whooping with delight.

Tank's ears fell flat against her head.

“I can’t do this.” Her eyes were wider than a moonfish’s and her skin the color of tired seaweed. “It’s magic, Fizz.”

“I know, buddy.” I took my friend’s hand. “But it’s Aleetha’s magic.”

Aleetha swooshed in front of them, riding an orange armchair like a flame surfer from Lava Falls.

“Trust me, Tank,” she called before soaring up high into the air.

I didn’t like it any better than Tank did. Magic is the one thing monsters like us are meant to avoid. And here we were, right in the heart of it. But it was too late to turn back. We were already too far into the Shadow Tower and too deep into this mystery to stop now. I stepped forward.


Fizz, a goblin, and Tank, a troll, are partners in solving mysteries, and they have solved a few. Now, Fizz is a typical boy goblin who doesn’t like school, or so he says, and Tank is a typical troll because she is into technology. Fizz worries because Tank is not always successful with her techie inventions, and, in fact, some of them can be downright dangerous. But many do just what they are supposed to do – help the two of them out of sticky situations that always seem to happen when they are being detectives.

     Aleetha, a wizard in training, arrives with a mystery that she is adamant must be solved. Her teacher is missing. Fizz can’t quite see why this would be a problem, but he is up for the challenge. So off the three of them go to find a missing teacher. Sounds simple enough, but this adventure becomes anything but simple. They find more magic than any troll or goblin should ever have to endure and meet some very dangerous and very interesting characters.

     This is a delightful middle school novel with elements of a graphic novel. The text just spills into the detailed pictures and continues through to the other side. Yes, sometimes readers will prefer to imagine how the characters appear and expand on the scenes in their own mind, but these graphics are so detailed and the characters so well-developed in picture and text that readers can just join them in the adventure rather than watch from outside. This is the third in the “Tank and Fizz” series. Read alone or as part of the series, this novel is sure to please kids who love to read, and it will inspire reluctant readers with its humour and almost constant action.

Highly Recommended.

Elaine Fuhr is a retired elementary and middle school teacher.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
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ISSN 1201-9364
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