If you were to stumble upon an object that looked like a Genie’s Lamp, you would know what to do wouldn’t you? You would probably give it a few rubs with your hand and wait for the genie to come rumbling out of the end. He would grant you three wishes with a few conditions attached to them. But….what if you stumbled upon a magical object that you didn’t know the rules for. How would you figure out how it worked? Would you get frustrated and just give up or would you collaborate with your friends to figure it out?
In Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder, Henry, Emma, Roy, and Susan do just that. They discover a magical wall in a field. The wall obviously has rules for how it works, but what are they? Through many different wishes and adventures this team of adventurers work together to unlock the mysteries of the wall, and they meet many interesting characters along the way.
I loved the moments in this story where Laurel Snyder was writing directly to the reader. Within her writing she put out into the open the rules of books and how narratives work. This direct conversation to the reader made me think of Kate DiCamillo’s style of writing in The Tale of Despereaux.
I won’t call this book flawless, because there were a few jumpy moments in the story where the writing quickly sped up to move further into the story, and I felt like we missed some entertaining adventures from the group of kids. However, I really enjoyed this book overall and think that many students would love the adventure, magic, and mystery of this great chapter book.
Reviewed by Mr. Plemmons