The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Summer’s not looking too exciting for Billy.  His parents have recently separated, and he’s staying with his mother at a lakeside cabin that has no TV.  Forced to read books, he discovers that whatever he reads comes to life on an island in the middle of the lake.  Billy teams up with his neighbor Walter as well as Robin Hood, Tom Sawyer, Pollyanna, and Hercules to find treasure that’s supposed to be buried on the island.  Their efforts are constantly thwarted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, Jack’s giant, and the neighborhood bully.  As fun as the adventures are, the questions remain: who is Dr. Libris and why does his library come to life on the island?  In his quest to learn the answers, Billy learns about the power of his own imagination.  Recommended for grades 4-6.

Pros:  Lots of action, humor, and some fun puzzles to solve.

Cons:  Many of the literary allusions may be lost on readers not familiar with the classics.

 

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