Recommended for ages 7-10
Poor Jasper! He borrowed a book from the library, so he could practice reading. He wanted his skills to be sharp when it was his turn to sit on the big, comfy chair at the library and read to Molly the dog, that’s all! But Jasper accidentally dropped the book in the tub and drowned it, and THEN, his father set it on fire by trying to dry it in the stove. And THEN, he shot it with a fire extinguisher! Now, Jasper and his dad are Book Killers, and he’s terrified that he owes the library $2500 for the book! How can he raise that much money before Wednesday, when it’s his turn to read to Molly?
This is the sixth book in the Jasper John Dooley early chapter book series, and it’s adorable; great for young readers who are ready to advance from Easy Readers to chapter books. Jasper is very likable, and his reasoning will click with readers: his mom reads in the bathtub, so it should be easy, right? He misjudges a decimal point when trying to determine the price of the book he needs to replace, and comes up with $2500 instead of $25. He feels huge responsibility for the library book in his care, which provides opportunities for discussion about responsibility and taking care of others’ belongings, as well as realizing that everyone makes mistakes – even parents – and that, yes, accidents happen.
This is the first Jasper John Dooley book I’ve ever read, but I would like to get these on my library’s shelves, because they’re great reading. Like most series fiction for emerging and newly independent readers, you don’t need to read from book one to pick up the series; they’re independent stories with characters that you’ll get to know right away. Black and white llustrations add to the enjoyment of the story. You can easily have a read-aloud with this book: classes will get a kick out of it! Good role models, sweet humor based on misunderstanding, solid discussion points make this a good addition to your series collections.
Learn more about the Jasper John Dooley series on the Kids Can Press webpage.