Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Angels Inc. by Bruce McBay, illustrated by Kim La Fave

Two kids decide to form a club for doing good deeds. Unfortunately, their good deeds go awry and cause problems. In the end, they stop some thieves and the people they caused problems for forgive them.

Sound choppy? Well, unfortunately so is the book. Some of the oddity of the story can be contributed to it being Canadian, such as school ending in April. But there are many more problematic elements in the book. The children's ages are never given, but they appear to be around 8 or 9. But they take the bus alone to a kind of public market, Granville Island and handle a lawn mower on their own. If they're supposed to be older, their behavior is extremely childish and the story as a whole would not appeal to an older audience.

Wendy, who has the idea for the club and sticks to it even when her friend Zachary wants to quit, is unbelievably oblivious of the havoc she's causing. The sudden apprehension of the thieves is plopped into the plot without warning and the story ends so suddenly that I went back and checked the publication data to see if a page was missing. The black and white illustrations are engaging, but not enough to redeem the flat storytelling and loose plot. The reading level seems to be beginning chapter book, but the storyline is more suited to an early reader audience.

Verdict: Not recommended.

ISBN: 978-1896580302; Published September 2008 by Tradewind Books; Review copy provided by publisher through LibraryThing Early Reviewers

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