Harry Moon: Wand-Paper-Scissors Origin by Mark Andrew Poe, illustrations by Christina Weidman
Rabbit Publishers, 2017. 978-1943785599
Reviewer note: The Harry Moon and Honey Moon books are being re-released as The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon and The Enchanted World of Honey Moon.
Synopsis: Harry Moon is up to his eyeballs in magic. In the small town of Sleepy Hollow where every day is Halloween night, his archenemy, Titus Kligore, has eyes on winning the annual Scary Talent Show. Harry’s sister, Honey Moon, says Harry needs better tricks so he finds a new and better magic wand. Still, Harry has a tough job ahead of him if he is going to steal the crown. He takes a chance on a magical rabbit who introduces him to the deep magic. Harry decides the best way forward is to “do no evil ” while the battle to defeat Titus goes epic. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: It’s marketed as a book with values and caters to kids with dyslexia.
Why I finished it: I’m always intrigued by stories of readers sharing ideas for books with authors, and in the case of Harry Moon, kids were asked what kids of values and messages they wanted in a book. While I cannot completely agree with all the messages the book sends (there is a rumor about students kissing teachers and a questionable relationship between the protagonist and his former babysitter), I was really drawn in by Harry’s commitment to ‘Do No Evil’. Bullying can be a big problem no matter what age you are, and the messages we send to kids about how to deal with bullying can have a huge impact on their world view and their self-esteem. Harry’s approach of making friends with Titus, even though Titus was pretty much a jerk, is bold and mature. I will acknowledge that it’s not always going to work, yet it promotes a step in the right direction. The other message I got out of the book is about finding the courage (magic) inside yourself to be able to make changes – both in your personal life and in the lives of others. I liked that Harry’s family is so open and honest with each other and they are a tightly knit group, and promoting environments where kids can be heard is integral to how they process both good and bad situations. There are several jokes that will go over the heads of some of the younger readers, but I think anyone that picks up the book will be pleasantly surprised. I will say that the beginning is weighed down with a lot of background, but once you get past that, the rest of the book was a quick read that can be enjoyed by readers of all levels.
Other related materials: Harry Moon: Halloween Nightmares by Mark Andrew Poe, illustrations by Christine Weidman; Harry Moon: First Light by Mark Andrew Poe, illustrations by Christine Weidman; Harry Moon: Harry’s Christmas Carol by Mark Andrew Poe, illustrations by Christine Weidman; Honey Moon: Dog Daze by Sofi Benitez, illustrations by Becky Minor; Honey Moon: A Scary Little Christmas by Sofi Benitez, illustrated by Becky Minor; The Bad Guys books by Aaron Blabey; Diary of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney