Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants

illus. by David Roberts. 144p. (Questioneers: Bk. 2). Abrams/Amulet. Apr. 2019. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781419734229.
Gr 2–3—Ada Twist is learning all about air, but can her newfound knowledge save a family friend in peril? After debuting in a picture book series by Beaty, Ada returns in the second book of this early chapter book series focusing on kids and STEM. Ada is fascinated by all things science, and spends her time actively seeking answers to her numerous questions about the world. When a family friend goes airborne in a pair of inflatable pants and can't land himself, Ada joins forces with friends Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck to devise a scientific plan to bring Uncle Ned home. Beaty's compelling text keeps readers moving like a swift wind through the plot's twists and turns, creating an adventurous mystery out of Uncle Ned's plight and the science capable of saving him. Brief chapters support emerging readers transitioning to chapter books without sacrificing opportunities for learning; however, young readers might be stymied by a brief foray into Ada's "research" texts, still written for children but from a more technical perspective. Roberts's illustrations, which will be familiar to fans of the picture book series, complement the book's readability with humorous, detailed artwork. Additional information about "The Great Backyard Bird Count" and a poem about gas are included at the end of the book.
VERDICT A compelling early reader that packs plenty of information into a high-flying adventure.

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