I was excited to read this new book from author Linda Yiannakis. As a fan of middle grade reads as well as magical realism, I was intrigued by the synopsis. Nine year old Ellie, short for Eleanor, has it tough. Well, at least she thinks she does. She has to spend her summer vacation in summer school, with her least favorite teacher, Mr. Pinchpenny, as well as the class bully, and to top it all off, her little brother is driving her crazy at home! Things just couldn’t get worse for poor Ellie. But what if she found a way, a mysterious, magical sort of way, to make things better?
Ellie discovers a secret in her family’s attic one day that changes her life. Suddenly, she has the ability to make her problems disappear – literally disappear. At first it seems like Ellie has won the lottery! She quickly gets to work “fixing” all of her problems but soon learns that there is much more involved in this magical business than she could have ever dreamed possible.
This book was an enjoyable read. Ellie is a little girl who I think kids will be able to relate to. Any and every problem kids have at that age seems like the end of the world. The characters were well developed, including Ellie’s little brother, Tyler, who I could picture in my head zooming loudly around the house pretending to be an airplane. Ellie and Tyler’s mother was also vivid in my mind with a fun, funky style that is all her own. And then there was Mr. Pinchpenny, who you will undoubtedly picture as whoever the Mr. Pinchpenny from your own childhood was – we’ve all had one!
In addition to being an interesting story, this book offers a good lesson for kids. Perhaps it is better to face your problems rather than just wishing them away. And maybe some of those problems weren’t really problems after all.
I will say that this book seemed a tad long for the middle grade genre, clocking in at over 300 pages but the story didn’t drag or have chapters that felt unnecessary, and I think kids as well as parents would enjoy reading it. The ending of the book was intriguing and will likely leave you wanting more. I can’t help but wonder if Ms. Yiannakis is planning a sequel.
All in all, I think kids would enjoy this book and I would recommend it for ages nine and up. Erasable is available now on Amazon.
One of my favorite passages from the book:
“Just a little kindness, Ellie, can sometimes make a big difference in a person’s life…It doesn’t always happen, but why not be as kind as we can just in case?” – Erasable