Level Up! LEGO Ninjago

Random. (Step into Reading). Jan. 2023. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593570975; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593570968.
Gr 1-3–Kai and his father are so involved with online gaming that their ninja master tries to distract them in order to force them to return to their training. But burglars, fire, and lots of noise can’t even get the attention of the two gamers! In the end, Kai and his dad have all the right ninja techniques due to their time spent playing video games. They defeat the bad guys with their stellar moves. While the plotline is a bit thin, there is plenty of action to keep the attention of readers as the ninjas highlight their moves and take care of the bad guys. There are some intense moments with fire, force, ferocity, and implied violence, yet the author and illustrator manage to pull this off without showing any direct physical contact between characters. This transitional reader has just the right number of words per page for this reading level, and the story will appeal to kids who need some action while expanding their vocabulary and working on fluency.
VERDICT For any reluctant readers, LEGOs plus ninjas may just be the ingredients to get them hooked on reading.

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