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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you ever wondered how a butterfly flies? How does it manage to lift off? Putney is studying her butterfly image in an attempt to improve her butterfly stroke in swimming. She has a swim meet in about a week’s time and she has to master the one swimming stroke at which she fails in time to at least make it look like the butterfly stroke. It doesn’t help that as she trains, her nemesis, Sue, keeps popping by to make fun of her. But Putney’s trusty, magical techno genius, Sam, is always at the ready. There’s an MIT professor intent on learning more about Sam and perhaps taking something that is only meant for Putney and no one else. You see, that’s the true magic of magic – only one person really benefits from it.
Marsha Tufft’s middle-grade novel, Project First Flight, is the third book in the Putney Hicks Inventor Adventures. Like the previous books in the series, this one will definitely not disappoint. Complete with creative and scientific inventions (Putney’s plans included), a little bit of math, logical thinking and planning, and a whole lot of intuitive ideas, this is a great story for an inquisitive young mind. It resonates with the spark of genius and the motto of never giving up. Like Dad’s profound words of wisdom: “Keep working at it. Visualize yourself doing it. Keep that self-talk positive. You can do this. You will get it. You’ll see, one day it’ll just click.” The plot follows Putney’s inquisitive mind as she solves problems and interacts with her friends, mentors, adversaries, and her best-kept secret (which is almost no longer a secret), the magical eyePad, Sam. There’s lots of McGyver-like adventure, too, and this fast-paced story will be another hit for those young readers who enjoy magic, mayhem, and scientific/mathematical logic.