Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Emily Fairlie
Illustrator: Antonio Javier Caparo
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Bud and Laurie soon find themselves fighting to save their school, Tuckernuck Hall, from closing down. This time, Walker LeFranco, former school board president, claims that that the founder of the school is a murderer. Bud and Laurie stumble upon a secret room in the school and find the Marchetti’s bird, the only proof that could save the school’s reputation. Walker LeFranco tries to pass off a fake Marchetti’s bird, unaware of Bud and Laurie’s discovery. The seventh graders and the school librarian prove Maria Tutweiler’s innocence and save the school by revealing that LeFranco’s bird is false.
The Magician’s Bird is a great mystery for young children to solve. The book is formatted with side notes from characters and other emails and flyers to help readers put pieces of the story together. These extra clues help readers to feel like they are characters in the book trying to solve problems alongside Bud and Laurie. Even though the pair knew that it was unlikely for the police or anybody to believe seventh graders, they are able to persevere and prove Maria Tutweiler’s innocence in such a way that everyone believes them. Bud and Laurie are always willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order make their voices heard.