The Secrets of Ninja School

illus. by Deb Pilutti. 40p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. Mar. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627796491.
PreS-Gr 2—Master Willow's School for Ninjas is open only one weekend per year, at a remote location—a steep, craggy hill far from the busy roads of a village. New "saplings," boys and girls, arrive at the school to learn how to "sneak, slither, creep invisibly, jump, kick, and throw skillfully, sit, listen, and wait patiently," how to be brave, and (most of all) discover their own individual secret skill. Ruby finds herself lacking—she doesn't feel she's good at being invisible, skillful, or even patient, but Master Willow strongly believes that every sapling has a special talent. Practicing the ways of the ninja allows her to find and develop her own creative skills as she bravely comforts and supports her fellow saplings-in-training navigate the separation from home to school with a gift of friendship. Additional how-to pages on making a Dragon Softie or a No-Sew Dragon complete Ruby's story.
VERDICT A recommended general purchase suitable for young readers finding their own special skills.

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