Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Kate Egan with Magician Mike Lane
Illustrator: Eric Wight
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Mike wonders if something is wrong with him. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t sit still and focus. When he finds an old joke shop one day, he realizes that this shop also sells supplies for magicians. The owner of the shop, Mr. Zerlin, promises to teach Mike a trick if he can answer a riddle for him. When Mike shows off his first magic trick at school, most of the kids are impressed and he feels more popular than he ever has before. His new hobby also helps his make friends with his new neighbor, Nora, and deal with a bully. Magic is changing his world, but he can’t help but wonder if there’s magic beyond just the tricks he is learning.
The first in a new series, The Vanishing Coin introduces kids to magic. It has some instructions for easy magic tricks that anyone can learn with some practice, and the tricks are used as part of the story. Mike is a relatable character to many, struggling in school and figuring out how to deal with friends. The illustrations and large text make it easier for younger people to read, but it is written with better quality than a lot of similar early chapter books for young readers. Children who are interested in magic or who want a character who has problems concentrating in school will enjoy this magical series.