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Children's LiteratureThis Level 4 "Step into Reading" book tells how Roger saves his elderly inventor buddy Kenneth from having to give up his house by the sea because of a tax increase. That sounds more serious than this story is. Kenneth has invented an underwater rover, a homemade submarine, which connects to an undersea storehouse where he has put things the mermen and mermaids collect for him, such as old Titanic bath towels and undersea treasure, plus things Kenneth has saved from his childhood, such as old comics and baseball cards. Turns out those last two are what Roger could sell. That's how Kenneth's property is saved, he comes to be able to invent more curious machines, and Roger gets a Corvette which he lets his mother drive occasionally. The cartoon illustrations, seven to ten lines of text per page, and the humorous story invite proficient readers who are ready for paragraphs of text to read right along. 2004 (orig. 1991), Random House, Ages 7 to 9.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.