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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Hole in the Wall - Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Released November 2010

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

For Sebastian "Sebby" Daniels, life's tough and getting tougher by the minute. His family is poor and rely heavily on the income from their chickens. The problem is their chickens have been disappearing or laying eggs that are as hard as stone.

Sebby believes everything ties into a company that's strip mining their area. When he finds a stone that magically changes color and whirls around whenever it likes. Sebby and his twin sister, Barbie, wonder just what is going on. They decide to investigate and see if they can understand what is causing all these unusual events.

The Hole in the Wall kept me glued to the pages. It's pretty easy to sympathize with Sebby. Though he's a pre-teen, Sebby is forced to act older than he is at times. The author poignantly captures his love for most of his family and his disgust with their living situation incredibly well.

Lisa Rowe Fraustino's books is a mix of adventure, mystery and fantasy. It's fast-paced and characters are strong and likable. I think a number of children will find themselves able to relate to many of the situations Sebby and his sister experience both in and out of school.

Parents should probably be aware that Sebby's father is a drunk. There are brief episodes of verbal abuse and mention of some physical abuse. Other than being prepared to discuss that tragic aspect of some children's lives, I highly recommend this book to any adventurous child.

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