New Review Tuesday: Kaleidoscope Eyes
I'm in awe of the multifaceted talent of author Jen Bryant, who in the past few years has delivered powerful novels-in-verse such as Pieces of Georgia and Ringside 1925, as well as incredible non-fiction picture books including the 2009 Caldecott Honor A River of Words (pictures by Melissa Sweet) and February's Abe's Fish: A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln.
Bryant's newest book is Kaleidoscope Eyes, another novel-in-verse but one that takes us to a different time and era than Bryant has explored before. Set in 1968, Kaleidoscope Eyes tells the story of thirteen-year-old Lyza, who discovers three mysterious maps and together with friends Malcolm and Carolann discovers they may lead to the buried treasure of the legendary pirate Captain Kidd.
It may sound like an over-the-top pageturner, and Kaleidoscope Eyes will definitely appeal to middle school adventure fans, but Bryant based the novel on a true story, and each page is filled with rich historical detail. Bryant's simple verse style makes her a great recommendation for reluctant readers, who will also appreciate the quick pace and plot twists of Kaleidoscope Eyes.
It would be fun to pair Kaleidoscope Eyes with other books featuring maps, such as Harry Potter's Mauraders Map, and have students recreate the maps and present them to the class.
Have you read any of Jen Bryant's books? What's your favorite? Share in the comments!