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BOOK WIZARD Finds Some New Harrys

By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, January 31st, 2008 at 6:00 am in Books.

Hogwarts scarf (credit: Eric Chapman, MCT) Scholastic Books just launched an online “Book Wizard” for teachers and librarians, but the thing’s so cool, parents are going to love it too. You type in the title of a book your kids love and it spews out recommendations, based on theme similarities and reading level, which you can tweak. Naturally, we tested it on “Harry Potter” first and the Book Wizard suggested the usual - ”Redwall,” “Dark is Rising,” yeah, yeah, we know, ok?  But it also popped up some new ones: “Song Quest” from Katherine Roberts’ “Echorium” series and Edward Bloor’s “London Calling,” which looks really, really fun – a seventh grade boy uses a vintage WW2 Philco radio to travel back in time to war torn London and discover his own mission in life.

So then we put in some of the book suggestions you guys came up with last week!

And Book Wizard sez … “Gallagher Girls” fans may want to check out Philip Pullman’s “Count Karlstein” or Joan Lowery Nixon’s “Island of Dangerous Dreams.” And kids who’ve outgrown “Captain Underpants” may be ready for Louis Sachar’s delightfully eccentric “Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger” or Bruce Coville’s “I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X.”

Very cool tool. Check it out.

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