14 Year Old Erik This Kid Reviews Books Will No Longer Be Reviewing Books

Yes, you read that right. 14-year old Erik will no longer be reviewing books.


Because today I am fifteen!


What better way to celebrate than with a review of a REALLY great book I recently picked up at the Lititz Kid Lit Festival in Lititz PA. If you’ve never been, you should check it out (it’s held every fall) – click HERE for details.

The festival is organized by a great family owned bookstore – Aaron’s books – visit their website HERE

I interviewed the author of AbrakaPOW, Isaiah Campbell for Scholastic News at the festival. We talked about the challenges of writing books for middle grade readers.


To read that interview, click HERE to go to the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps site.

Now on to the review!

Written by Isaiah Campbell
Illustrated by Dave Perillo
400 pages – ages 8+
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 8, 2016

Synopsis- It’s WWII and Max’s father is in charge of a Prisoner-Of-War camp in Texas that is harboring several Nazis. Max doesn’t like living there, having just moved from Brooklyn and dealing with culture shock, but when her father asks her if she wants to put on a magic show for the prisoners, she is thrilled. Until the prisoners escape during her show. That kind of puts a damper on excitement. The escaped Nazis plan on making it across the border into Mexico and catching a ride back to Germany, and Max and her friends are the only ones able to stop them. Will they get the prisoners back before they get away for good?

What I Thought- I really like this historical fiction novel – taking an actual event that happened near the end of World War II, and reasoning that the only way it possibly could have happened was with the help of magic. They say truth is stranger than fiction and knowing that there were actually Nazi prisoners of war in Texas during WWII is a part of history I knew nothing about! It is a rather neat story – even though the real-life facts are almost unbelievable – and the characters are portrayed in convincing ways. Because of the time period, there is some prejudice (slight sexism at time, where the boys in the group of friends would insist on doing something, with the girls groaning about the boys acting like that; along with some racial prejudice, such as a Japanese boy being teased for how he speaks, along with the fact that Max and her family are Jewish). These details speak to the truth of what was going on at the time but in a kid-friendly way. There are illustrated diagrams of how to do magic tricks at the end of some of the chapters, mostly of magic tricks mentioned in the book. I really enjoyed reading the book, and I couldn’t put it down!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Categories: Age 9+

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50 replies

  1. Happy Birthday, Erik!!! Wow, 15? Now you’re older than I am. Should I start calling you Mr. Weibel? 😀 Have a fabulous day and a great holiday. Thanks for another tippy top review!

    P.S. Eat a big piece of cake for me.

  2. I’m so glad you’ll still be reviewing books! Happy birthday! I’m going to recommend this book to my middle school librarian. Great review!

  3. Happy Birthday, Erik! Wonderful review! Did not realize there were Nazi prisoners of war in Texas.

  4. Erik, you’re such a jolly joker! Happy birthday!!!

  5. You had me going there for a moment, Erik! Happy Birthday and I’m glad you’re going to continue to review books.

  6. Whew, you got me on that one. Happy Birthday and hope your day is special!

  7. I fall for this every year!! Happy birthday Erik!

  8. Happy Fifteenth Birthday Erik!! Enjoy your day. You picked a great book to review too.

  9. Happy Birthday, Erik! Hope you have a great day!

  10. Happy Birthday, and Happy Holidays. I’m looking forward to hearing what your 15 year old self has to say about books.

  11. Happy Birthday, Erik. I hope you’ve been enjoying my more YA stories.

  12. Happy Birthday, Erik. One year older. And yet you look the same as when we met! I’m proud to know you. I hope you have a great birthday and a wonderful Christmas!

  13. Happy Birthday, Erik! You’ve been growing up before our eyes, and I look forward to continuing to read your thoughts about the intersection of books, life, handbag ideas in the years to come. Enjoy a wonderful day and holiday season.

  14. Happy Birthday, Dear Erik! I hope you had a fabulous day!

  15. Erik, you stinker. I read that headline and my heart sunk 🙁 BUT—-HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 😀

  16. Happy Birthday a day late! (but hopefully not a dollar short). Have an awesome 16th year, and thank you for your continued bookworming!

  17. Happy, happy, HAPPY birthday, Erik! Have a fantabulous year.

  18. Happy Birthday! How is it possible that you’re 15 already? Weren’t you 9 when I met you?

  19. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIK 👍🎉🎶🎁🤡🎈🍪😄

  20. Happy Belated Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful time over the holiday!

  21. Happy Belated Birthday! Hope you had a great time and will have a Happy 15th New year!

  22. Happy Belated Birthday! When I first read the headline I was shocked! Glad it wasn’t what I thought it was. 🙂 Loved hearing about this book. Thanks for sharing it with us. Happy 2017!

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