S.O.S.: Society of Substitutes: The Great Escape

HarperCollins/Harper. (Society of Substitutes: Bk. 1). Jan. 2021. 96p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062909282; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780062909299.
Gr 1-3–This fun, energetic story focuses on second grader Milton Worthy’s classroom and their class pet ferret, Noah, who has a way of escaping his cage. Through a series of events, Milton’s mother ends up being the class substitute, and things get more adventurous from there. Students now get two recesses (before 9:30 am), and the pets take a couple of students on a wild tour around the school building to find a hidden room in the basement. There, they discover what has really been going on at Beacher Elementary School, and work together to save the teacher, the school, and the world. True to Katz’s style, the plot is funny, surprising, and a little bit silly. Checkboxes and interactive prompts at the end of each chapter inform readers of their progress and encourage them to keep going.
VERDICT Young readers will enjoy the antics in this chapter book, and teachers will enjoy reading it aloud. Highly recommended.

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