Review Blog

May 09 2011

Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans

cover image

Doubleday, 2011.
(Ages 7+) Recommended. S. Horten is not the ideal name for someone who is small for his age and Stuart gets very annoyed at being mistaken for a seven year old when he's actually ten. However, When the Horten family return to live in the village where Stuart's dad grew up, Stuart discovers a role model. His Great Uncle was a magician known as Teeny Tiny Tony Horten, but he disappeared during world War Two and left behind a secret warehouse of magic tricks that no one has been able to find.
With help from next door's annoying triplets Stuart is in a race against time to solve the magic clues set by his Great Uncle and discover the warehouse before its contents fall into the wrong hands.
Lissa Evans has concocted a wonderful mix of original plot and traditional mystery. Young readers will easily identify with a host of memorable characters. Stuart's mixed feelings about his height are handled sensitively. His parents and other grown ups are delightfully vague and slow witted, and readers will take great pleasure in staying one step ahead of them. The initially irritating triplets reinforce the value of friendship and teamwork but these important principles are neatly tucked into an entertaining and original story. This would be great to read aloud to lower juniors and is well worth buying for your library.
Claire Larson

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