The talent show is coming up at Oak Glen Primary School, and it’s got the third graders in a tizzy. The principal has decreed that five kids from each grade have to try out, but nobody actually wants to be in the show. Third graders aren’t cute like kindergarteners, and they’re not truly talented like the fifth and sixth graders. Everyone is sure the third graders will just get laughed at.
So they come up with a plan: five kids will try out, but they’ll be bad enough that they won’t make it into the show.
But EllRay turns out to be more talented than he thinks he is. Suddenly the idea of being in the talent show isn’t quite so scary…
If there’s a more endearing character than EllRay for young readers, I don’t know who it is. Author Sally Warner really has a knack for getting inside the head of an eight-year-old. EllRay’s voice is authentic, and kids will really respond to his predicaments.
Ellray Jakes is Magic by Sally Warner; Viking; c2014