A Good but Serious Book for Kids

By Jacqueline Davies

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 15.99 175 pages

Nine-year-old Jessie is normally excited when the family takes their annual trip to her grandmother’s house for New Years. This year, however, things are different: her grandma accidentally burned part of the house down due to her increasing bouts of forgetfulness, her brother doesn’t really want to play with her anymore, and the bell the family chimes on New Year’s Eve has gone missing. Jessie decides to look for the bell, along with the help from a neighbor, Maxwell, as she is determined that at least one thing will stay the same this year.

The Bell Bandit is a nicely written book about adjusting to the changes of life, which can be a challenging thing to do even as an adult. The book nicely shows Jessie and her brother Evan finding ways to adjust to those changes. The book does a great job acknowledging all the feelings of the children throughout the book and then showing how they found ways to deal with the new circumstances in their family. The illustrations go along well with the story and the book. This is a serious book but one that older kids or tweens will enjoy.

Reviewed By Barbara Cothern

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