Book Reveiw 7-2
Sunday, February 17, 2008

By Denise Turney
This was my first time reading a book written by Mary Pope Osborne.  This young adult novel starts out as so many things do – with a dream.  Young Jack has had another dream about the Magic Tree House.  He and his sister have visited the tree house many times before.  Doesn’t matter what the weather, they love going outdoors and spending time in the tree house that always puts them on a fun and memorable treasure hunt.  This time Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are asked to find an ocean treasure after they visit the Magic Tree House.
Not sure if it’s the difference in Annie and Jack’s ages, but Annie displays more energy and vibrancy than Jack does.   And as much as Jack doesn’t want to admit it, he appreciates his sister’s thirst for what’s new.
This time Annie’s desire for new findings lands them smack inside a mini-sub.  Jack, a widely read and intelligent kid, knows quite a bit about submarines.  It’s a good thing too, because Annie and he spend more time in the mini-sub than Jack had at first bargained for.
Dolphins at Daybreak is the kind of story a young adult, a child between the ages of eight and twelve years old, could read alone and enjoy.

There are enough surprises and enough adventure in this story to keep a child turning the pages.  Language is suitable.  The visuals are strong.  Dolphins at Daybreak is created at the reading level that uses pictures to strengthen the plot for young readers.

I especially like how the book includes explanations for various sea animals.  For example, when Jack and Annie spot a clam while they are investigating the ocean floor in search of the treasure, the book offers this definition to help young readers learn while they are being entertained -- “’I’ll have to check on that one,’” said Jack.  He turned the pages of the ocean book.  When he got to the page about clams, he read aloud:  The giant clam of the coral reef is three feet wide and weighs up to 200 pounds.”
Dolphins at Daybreak is a story about family, friends, imagination and nature.  Mary Pope Osborne tells an engaging story that captures young adult (and adult) interest.   And no wonder, Mary Pope Osborne has written more than forty books for young adults.

Young readers may love the lesson they gain by the story’s end – that the fun in a treasure hunt is the journey itself and all that you find along the way as much as it is about coming upon the much sought after gem.

Visit Denise online at  Read excerpts from Denise’s two new books online FREE by e-mailing with
“Request New Free Excerpts” in the subject line.


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