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Plane Phenomenon: The Pawnshop Mysteries

Overview

Keith and his father enjoy building model airplanes, but when they do not follow the instructions, their model crashes. As Keith is exploring an old pawnshop for a new plane to fly, he uncovers a model biplane that bears strange, experimental modifications—and that comes with a warning from the shopkeeper. The changes made to this model remind Keith of the contraptions a maverick boyhood friend of his used to create. With the caveats of the pawnbroker still in his mind, Keith is surprised to ...

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Overview

Keith and his father enjoy building model airplanes, but when they do not follow the instructions, their model crashes. As Keith is exploring an old pawnshop for a new plane to fly, he uncovers a model biplane that bears strange, experimental modifications—and that comes with a warning from the shopkeeper. The changes made to this model remind Keith of the contraptions a maverick boyhood friend of his used to create. With the caveats of the pawnbroker still in his mind, Keith is surprised to run into his old friend again, this time for a surprising adventure with the odd model biplane. In their adventures, they discover that events are capable of not only changing the people involved but also altering the very objects around them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Young
The best thing about this work is that it is a short and quick read. While promoted as appealing "to adventurous young readers who like to play with airplanes," and are "thrilled by pawn shops and antique stores," it surprises me to think that it would appeal to anyone. Do young readers even know what pawn shops are, let alone enjoy antique shops? The story begins with a yellow Piper Cub airplane and a focus on the bond between a father and his son. Slowly, the story unfolds to reveal tough economic times and a boy's nervousness about his attempts to fly a remote-controlled plane. Keith is encouraged by his father, but encouragement is not enough to keep the craft aloft. Predictably, it crashes into pieces. Later, we are introduced to Buddy Stewart, who is both the only realistic character in this work and the most entertaining. Keith still wishes to fly, but with the Piper Cub disaster a fresh wound, he is hesitant to pilot right away. His mood changes when he sees an old-fashioned biplane in a pawn shop. It's all over for him; he has to have it. Using his inheritance, he buys it, in spite of a warning that the plane is "rather odd." Once it is home, Keith takes it to a model airplane show. It sputters and stalls, making Keith look foolish. Just as hope is about to be lost, the biplane revs into gear and puts on a show like no other. Just one thing—Keith is not controlling it. No one else is, either. The plane seems to have a mind of its own, even taking off by itself. It really is "rather odd." As the crowd dissipates, only Keith and his parents are left, and they are almost ready to give up. Finally, the biplane returns, with holes in it and a slumping pilot. No explanationsare necessary—or given. Similar to the Twilight Zone, it may appeal to fans of that sort of paranormal show. However, the story is so slow moving and shallow that it is difficult to recommend. Some will enjoy it, but very few, unfortunately. Any concept of a motion picture (as indicated by the publicity for this) would need to be considered carefully if it is to be successful. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933255248
  • Publisher: Dna Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2006
  • Pages: 44
  • Sales rank: 1,072,760
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl R. Bartholomew is the author of Granmax: The Saving of a Steam Train. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

    Keith and his Dad have spent a lot of time and money building their remote controlled model airplane. They love taking it flying together. So far Keith has stuck to just the basic flying, and let his dad do all of the fancy tricks. But today is Keith's big chance, his dad is ready for him to try some fancy flying. They both know how important this is, they see it anticipated on Keith's mom's face every time she comes to watch them fly. It's a good thing she's not there to see it this time; Keith is nervous enough as it is. If everything goes well they'll take it to the model airplane show. <BR/><BR/>All doesn't go well. The crash that they were all hoping would never happen is spectacular. Not in a good way. Keith is devastated and banishes himself to his room. Staring at the ceiling he remembers the model plane he saw in the pawnshop in town. Maybe it's still there. Maybe he can afford to buy it. <BR/><BR/>Keith hurries off on his bike. He is beyond ecstatic to see the model plane waiting for him in the window. After a rather confusing conversation with the pawnbroker (that perfectly and hilariously illustrates a generational cavern in speech patterns), the man takes the plane down for examination. The plane has been modified by its previous owner and has a strange and somewhat mysterious history. Keith is only more interested. He rides back home and convinces his parents to go right back with him and pick up the plane. <BR/><BR/>Keith decides to take the plane to the model show and fly it, even though he's never actually tried it out yet. He's sure he can handle it. Keith isn't the only one in for a surprise. <BR/><BR/>At times hilarious, at times suspenseful, a bit mysterious, consistently good. This is a great story, even for non-plane enthusiasts. In fact, my only real complaint is that I wish it were much longer!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2011

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