Review of Donny and Mary Grace's California Adventure

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Misael Carlos
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Latest Review: Donny and Mary Grace's California Adventures by Catherine A. Pepe

Review of Donny and Mary Grace's California Adventure

Post by Misael Carlos »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Donny and Mary Grace's California Adventure" by Catherine A. Pepe.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Mary Grace Miller panics when his younger brother goes missing; Donny is just beside their parents when she goes back to the penguin exhibit to get his favorite blanket. She realizes the zoo is not a safe place for kids, especially for her brother who has Down syndrome. Her parents always say Mary Grace has a knack for solving mysteries; how will she find Donny? Faced with challenges like this, how will she figure out how to handle them as they arise? Donny and Mary Grace’s California Adventure by Catherine A. Pepe presents the adventures of a bright and witty young girl as she takes care of her brother who has special needs.

The characters were lovable and possess a good sense of humor. Moreover, the characters' personalities and behavior were relatable; many girls would be able to see themselves in Mary Grace and her friends. I liked her character the most; her maturity at such a young age was endearing.

The author's amazing narrative transported me to whatever the Miller family was doing; the way they looked out for each other was heart-warming. There were many positive attitudes that the author wanted to impart, and young readers will surely benefit from this book. Children’s books usually provide good moral values; this one did not disappoint. Moreover, it would enhance critical thinking skills among young readers since the story involved solving problems or mysteries.

The book presented a story about a genetic disorder, but it was taken on a positive note; it provided the readers the opportunity to know more about Down syndrome and how to deal with persons suffering from it. Also, a sensitive and timely issue was tackled: bullying. The author’s experience as an attorney lent credibility to her handling of the issue. I particularly liked how Pepe came up with innovative ways of finding solutions to problems faced by each character; they were believable and realistic. The author’s sense of humor was evident; her narrative drew some smiles and laughter from me.

On the downside, there were minimal grammatical errors, mostly about missing quotation marks.

The book is informative and engaging. The minimum grammatical errors did not distract a smooth reading experience, which led me to believe it was professionally proofread. Thus, I give Donny and Mary Grace’s California Adventure by Catherine A. Pepe 4 out of 4 stars.

It is a children’s book, but I think it is for everyone because the moral values it provided are universal regardless of age. If you like intriguing or complex stories, you have to look elsewhere.

Donny and Mary Grace's California Adventure
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OTrain eM
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Post by OTrain eM »

Wow! Such books filled with complex characters. I love that the Down syndrome wasn't the focal point of the book. I think this is different and would force readers to learn to appreciate people more. Thank you for the insightful review.
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Post by Valeria Riveraa »

I must say I haven't seen a pure form of sibling love emitting from characters as it does from Donny and Mary Grace. I love that Mary Grace does not limit Donny to the things he can do or even consider him as disabled. I love everything about this book. Thanks for the review.
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