Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff! Paperback – Feb 1 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–Martin Bridge usually has a scheme or project under way. In the three school and home stories presented in this beginning chapter book, he sees how a happy surprise intended for one person makes a positive difference for another, figures out what to say to a little girl whose hamster has died, and suffers the consequences of jealousy. Through it all, his parents provide thoughtful guidance. The everyday worlds of school, home, and clubs offer Martin Bridge several opportunities for growth, and his responses are on target for a third grader. Kerrin relates the episodes in a straightforward way that incorporates rich language. Kelly's full-page illustrations and spot art follow the narrative closely enough to support the newly independent readers for whom this book is written.–Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 2-4. Unlike most books for the age group, this has three long chapters rather than a series of short ones. The first episode concerns Martin's cranky school-bus driver. In the second, the hamster he is feeding for a younger child has died, and he is appalled when her parents want the pet replaced before she comes home. The third tells of his giving a friend an idea for decorating his rocket ship, only to find that he can't think of a good idea for his own. Though the last story's resolution seems a bit contrived, Kerrin does quite a good job of showing the shades and intensity of Martin's feelings throughout the book. Kelly's expressive pencil-and-charcoal, digitally shaded drawings give the stories a nice, quirky lift while staying true to the tone of the writing. With a small format, large print, and an appealing cover illustration, this book will find a ready audience. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My son and I really enjoyed this book together. My son related to this book in a meaningful way. The writing style kept his attention and connected with his 8 year old boy mentality. The "lessons" sprinkled into the story where just enough and conveyed in such a way that my son understood their values and still thought the book was "cool".
I really liked how the situations Martin found himself in were real and relevant to my son's life. The stories had my son thinking about how he would handle similar situations if it were him. The book also reinforces healthy imagination and nuances of friendship.
We will be buying all the Martin Bridge books for my son for Christmas this year.
Written by Jessica Scott Kerrin
Illustrated by Joseph Kelly
(Kids Can Press, 2005)
Grear stuff for younger readers - on the same level as the Beverly Cleary and Joanna Hurwitz books.
The Martin Bridge series features an appealing main character, Martin, a young boy (maybe age 8-10-ish) who is emotionally complex and refreshingly flawed. Although he's basically a nice kid, Martin is frequently grouchy and petulant, jealous of other kids or impatient or combative, but in each of these short stories, he usually figures out a better way to deal with his feelings. Sometimes there's a big, lightbulb-going-off change of heart moment, other times the change is more subtle, but always it feels pretty true to life. Author Jessica Scott Kerrin brings a light touch and a distinctly female perspective to these stories, that of a woman who's spent a lot of time with young boys, knows what makes them tick, and loves 'em anyway. Martin's mother is protective but patient, giving gentle course corrections, but mostly lets her son work things out on his own.
The emphasis on emotions, and in particular on normal, everyday negative emotions makes this series valuable - it helps kids recognize and accept our less-than-perfect human nature while also giving a sense of how we can better ourselves. However, the tone isn't noxiously goodie-two-shoes or fake. We enjoyed these books a lot and had several interesting conversations about Martin's behavior and how he'd solve various problems. Recommended reading! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)