Brookdale House, a homeschool curriculum publishing company, has recently come out with The Magic Chalk – a new chapter book series for kids. It’s written by Kimberly Garcia, a homeschooling mother of four students ages 9 to 17, and the owner of Brookdale House. The author was kind enough to send me a copy of the first book, Escape of the Killer Noun to review for myself.
The Magic Chalk series is written on a third grade reading level. My son is only a first grader so we’ve been using this as a “read-aloud” during our school day. He loves The Magic Treehouse books – which were our first experience at chapter books – so I was eager to try another chapter book series with him.
Rusty and Eric don’t usually enjoy grammar, but today they’re in for a treat. Mrs. Jones is absent, and Mr. Graham is the substitute. What’s so special about Mr. Graham? Nothing, until he uses the Magic Chalk to make the nouns written on the chalkboard appear in the classroom! With Mr. Graham and his Magic Chalk, Rusty, Eric, and the rest of the class learn that a noun names a person, a place, or a … killer dinosaur!
It’s been a fun read. I was pleased that Bug is enjoying it and always wants “just one more chapter.” Even though it’s above his reading level he’s enjoyed the story being read aloud to him. It just so happened when we got this book we had just started learning parts of speech in our language program. So it seemed like a perfect time to read it! It has definitely helped him understand nouns!
The only drawback to the book is the less-than-ideal behavior of the third grade students in the book. For this reason, I’m glad I’ve been reading it aloud. I’ve skipped conversations that serve no purpose except for the characters to call each other name or cut each other down. And I haven’t read the references to the principal, Mr. Meird, as “Weird Meird”. Disrespect of adults, especially those in a position of authority, is not something I want to teach my child is ok. I realize that third graders, especially in a public school setting, probably do all these things. And you may find them innocuous, but I wanted to throw that info out there for the Moms like me. I think the book would be just fine without those things.
All-in-all, I gave it a four star review on Amazon. And we’ll probably check out book 2 when it comes out.
You can get Escape of the KILLER Noun (The Magic Chalk) on Amazon for $5.99. It would be a good choice for summer reading – not only for exercising those reading skills, but also to cement those parts of speech in their little minds so they don’t forget them before school starts back in the fall.
Brookdale House sponsored this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.