Younger fans of the hugely popular EJ12 Girl Hero stories can now enjoy it for themselves with the launch of the new EJ Spy School series.
The perfect first chapter book series for young girls and beginner readers, EJ Spy School helps them to build reading confidence and enjoyment through its careful choice of age appropriate words, concepts, sentence lengths and chapter lengths.
The series introduces the much-loved character Emma Jacks as EJ10 as she first joins the secret agency SHINE spy school and starts to train as a SHINE agent. A great companion website features age-appropriate activities, games and story extracts as well and can be found at www.ejspyschool.com.
The book begins with a simple storyline about Emma going to her school and going through some of the usual issues that children will experience - friendships, fears, tests etc. It is divided into the four manageable chapters which give young readers the satisfaction of reading a "chapter book". The font size seems perfect for young readers of chapter books. The storyline moves away from the standard life of a child to the more adventurous life of a child spy. With the simple way the story is written, it will meet the needs of the young reader and give a sense of adventure and excitement at the same time. What child doesn't like a bit of mystery and fun!
The illustrations are simple and in black and white throughout the book. Speech bubbles and the odd piece of text written in a way that stands out, adds to the reader's experience of the book.
The Test is a precursor to the next book in the series "The Race" and lines the reader up ready for some excitement in Spy School. I think after reading the first book, readers will automatically have to read the second book.
The book directs the reader to a website which is directly related to the book. In fact, I found that children who are interested in reading these books, can actually download a preview chapter to see if it suits their interests. I think this is a great idea. On the website, I also got to see that there are another two books in the series coming out this month.
I saw the little blurb for this and thought it would be a good book to read to my four year old daughter but also to my six year old son.
It's important for me to have books for my children that feature a female lead who is doing ok at school, not obsessed with her looks and has a role predominantly allocated to boys. Emma is only ten but is a great starter character for my son to read, I don't want him to miss out on great books in the future simply because they have a girl in the lead. Emma is a good friend, she is pretty but there isn't any comments about how she looks, and she gets butterflies over tests like any regular kid.
My son can't read this book on his own, but it was a good one for reading to him, he could work out some of the words and the lovely big font means it will be a good book for him to read once he gets better. He already likes the story and said that he really likes the pictures, there's a good balance in the book. My four year old said "I want to be that girl" so I'm already happy with this book.
The Test is a fun little book, and as I see this is a prequel to another series when Emma is 12, so I'm happy that the kids can read this series and transition into the next when they are ready.
We have read some of the EJ12 Spy books aimed at older readers so Miss Five was pretty excited to see these. Miss Seven read this pretty quickly herself (43 pages of large font and illustrated black and white chapters) and then for the first time in a long time curled up on me whilst I read this to Miss Five. She was able to read it with me and I got her to read some words and sentences or just follow what I was reading.
This book seemed perfectly pitched at her reading level (she is just beginning year two) and she has subsequent to me reading this to her been reading it herself at night. I like that even though this is pitched at Miss Five's level Miss Seven also enjoys reading this and it is a good book to consolidate her own reading as well as she was interested in Emma's story as to how she became a spy!
The story is pretty simple with Emma having her first encounter with SHINE. I really like the simple story and how well the story is written with very simple sentence's and language. This book is very well written and very well pitched exactly where it should be with the reading age and plot composition.
This has been on special with Scholastic so is great value for money (as is any book that engages the beginning reader!) I can definitely recommend this for your 5 - 8 year old as it is a great lead in to the EJ12 Hero Stories as reading comprehension and ability develops.
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