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Reviewed by Geoff Habiger for Readers' Favorite
We’ve all been excited about something that happens at school, and young Ellis Monroe is no exception. In Ellis and The Magic Mirror, by Cerece and Aryeh Rennie Murphy, Ellis’s excitement is for the Earth Day celebrations going on at school. Ellis loves school, and loves learning something new about Earth. We can also relate when the new boy in class, Buddy, seems to steal all the fun and excitement out of learning. Buddy is determined to get people in trouble – especially Ellis – and enjoys nothing more than being mean. When Ellis’s father brings home an old looking glass that has the power to show you the truth about objects you see through it, Ellis learns that Buddy is not who (or what) he seems to be. With the assistance of his best friend Toro, and his sister Freddye, Ellis must stop a threat to the school from Buddy and his friends.
Ellis and The Magic Mirror is a delightfully fun story for young children. Ellis and his friends are relatable and easy to like and root for as they tackle the challenge presented by the bully, Buddy. Cerece and Aryeh have created a group of characters that show how friendship, and family, can overcome any challenge. I really enjoyed that Ellis allows Freddye, his younger sister, to participate in his adventure as an equal partner – she isn’t tagging along, and he’s not been told to watch her by his parents. Freddye is a strong, independent spirit in her own right and I love how she is untroubled by the strange events going on. Ellis and The Magic Mirror is a fantastic adventure that children of all ages will enjoy. The book is wonderfully illustrated with full-color art by Gregory Garay that really brings Ellis and his adventure to life.