By Steve Cotler, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
Random House Books for Young Readers, $15.99, 256 pages
In the fourth installment of the Cheesie Mack series, author Steve Cotler again delights with an adventure story that is sure to generate laughs. Cotler aims his series at readers who may prefer comic books over novels, and illustrator Douglas Holgate provides plenty of visual entertainment to sustain reluctant readers.
“It was a flat, mostly tarnished, brass-colored metal ring with a bunch of strange markings around the edge. It was about the size of my cell phone.”
Cheesie and his best friend, Georgie, find a pre-Colonial artifact while secretly exploring a construction site. When the strange item brings them unusual attention throughout the school, the two friends must decide whether to keep the item – and the glory it brings – or give the artifact a greater purpose for all to enjoy. In making their decision, Cheesie and his schoolmates must contemplate material and moral values.
While ensuring entertainment with the antics of Cheesie and Georgie, Cotler slips in a good amount of educational fun as well. Mixing history lessons with weird science like melting metal with tea, Cheesie and his friends learn through their experiences, as will readers of their adventures.
Reviewed by Lori A. May