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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Reach for the Sky: Super Speed Sam, Book 2 is a children’s animal book for grades 3-6 written by Monty J. McClaine. Sam’s a basset hound who loves the McClaine family. He’s especially close to baby Molly, but he also takes special care of six-year-old Jack, who has a propensity for getting into trouble. Molly was upset and having a hard time getting to sleep one night. Her favorite doll, Ted, had mysteriously disappeared. Molly’s Ted was made by her father when he was creating a new character for one of his books. Ted had a yellow hard hat and wore construction gear, and Molly took him everywhere with her. Her mom finally got her to go to sleep, but then a huge crash woke Molly up and sent Jack’s mom running to check on him. You see, Jack designs all sorts of tracks for his electric trains to run on, and he had thought up a grand new design, but he was short two lengths of track. He knew where that track was -- it was stored away on top of a very tall dresser. His dad put it up there as a punishment for him upsetting Molly the other day. Jack thought long and hard about how to get that track down, and he finally came up with the perfect plan. Sam wasn’t so sure about that plan and was ready to make a move when, not if, something awful happened. He had to watch for Jack’s safety, but he also had to rescue Ted, who was tied to Jack’s railroad tracks.
Monty J. McClaine’s Reach for the Sky: Super Speed Sam, Book 2 is a fun and exciting read, no matter what age you are. I had to suppress a cheer when Jack secretly changes the channel and turns off The Catwalk Kittens, which sounded truly awful, and I shuddered a bit at the description of his makeshift ladder for reaching the top of the dresser. Jack channels the six-year-old boy in each of us, and he does so superbly! The real hero of this series, however, has got to be Sam who takes his responsibility to protect his family very seriously indeed. He’s even got an ancient chant that was handed down to him from his ancestors, which grants him super-speed and other skills as necessary in the performance of his duties. Sam is marvelous, and the illustrations showing him in action are very, very good. While geared towards primary school-age children, Reach for the Sky is a grand selection for story hour or as a bedtime tale for younger children as well. The story is original, entertaining and clever, and the illustrations work perfectly with the script. Reach for the Sky: Super Speed Sam, Book 2 is most highly recommended for children of all ages.