“What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon” by Henry Clark is an absolutely wonderful book! I’ll admit upfront that I am a good bit older than the target demographic, but I enjoyed it every bit as much as my son. We actually made quite a game of stealing it back and forth from each other to read the next part!
What I Loved:
1. The plot! It was lots of fun, with quirky magic, entertaining characters, and great world-building, both in the regular world and in the parallel magical one.
2. The characters! The main characters were well-drawn and believable. It’s nice to see middle-school-aged kids portrayed as clever, loyal, and caring. In real life, most of them are, and it’s nice to see something other than the complete brats that usually populate books and tv shows. Modesty’s quirky family (who are mostly off-screen) are described well enough to provide plenty of laughter for the reader. A spin-off book along the lines of “Modesty and Her Sisters Shop at the Mall” could be hilarious! Regardless, kudos to the author for getting middle school kids just right!
3. The subtle humor! Yes, there was plenty of not-so-subtle humor, which I also enjoyed. But how can you NOT love a magical world in which people enjoy reading about “Mary Potter, Girl Scientist”?
4. The positive messaging! In a real world full of doom and gloom, it’s nice to see a book that shows kids using their brains, working together, and actually making a difference. I loved how they made the “Magical Minutes” work for them, despite the apparent uselessness of some of the spells. The “take-care-of-the-environment” and “stand-up-to-bullies-even-if-they’re-the-ones-in-charge” messages were also timely and age-appropriate.
Overall, I 100% loved this book. I recommend it to everyone, regardless of age or ability to enjoy stories about magical-doorways-in-refrigerators.
Five out of five extra-large chunks of Monterey Jack!