Henry and Keats are off on another adventure in Invasion of the Junkyard Hog, a new Stepping Stones chapter book, written by Bill Doyle and illustrated by Scott Altmann. When last we saw the two intrepid 9-year-old cousins, they were ridding a supermarket of giant slugs for a mysterious Mr. Cigam. In this new tale, they've been recruited to find an enchanted compass to stop its unfortunate affects on Mr. Cigam's stepsisters. Problem is, the compass is hidden in a junkyard. To make matters worse, the junkyard is being guarded by an enhanced hog. The hog was cursed with a spell so it flies, has huge tusks, and yodels. Can Keats and Henry find the compass? Can they undo the spells and get everything back to normal? You'll have to read on to find out.
This is Doyle's best book yet in this series. The humor is spot on for the target age (boys 8-11), with just the right level of silliness in the plot. There's plenty of suspense and, for all the magic and mayhem, Henry and Keats are characters kids can relate to, even if they don't have enchanted livestock in their lives. All these elements add up to a great story, and there's some really savvy reading curriculum built into this. From a character who talks backwards to the use of puns to the wonderful descriptions of actions, this is a fun way to build reading skill and comprehension, especially for reluctant readers.
Invasion of the Junkyard Hog is for ages 8-11.
Reviews for the other two books in the series, Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie and Stampede of the Supermarket Slugs, are also available on TTPM.
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