SPI : Shadow Paranormal Investigators – The Case of the Dark Shadow
Written by T.J. Bonham
SPI The Case of the Dark Shadow is an intriguing story for 4th through 6th graders interested in mystery. The book offers the 4th grade reader some challenging language and an unusual plot, but older readers should have no problem with the language and comprehension of this paranormal mystery.
The story grabs the reader from the first chapter by describing emotions common to students who have experienced loss, change, and the fear of starting at a new school. This will offer teachers many opportunities to discuss coping mechanisms for students.
The rest of the story is full of mystery and fun as the character and her friends battle a sinister dark shadow that threatens to harm a ghost hunter and her family. Interwoven in the mystery of the dark shadow is the emotional side of living with a parent deployed during war, another real life situation that kids this age are living with.
A book for middle grade readers that includes real life situations that engage the reader will only serve to encourage students to keep reading, but a book that also includes “outside the box” topics, like ghosts and the paranormal, can broaden their scope of interest and be just what the teacher ordered for the reluctant reader. Teachers can use this as a classroom book read aloud or together because of the topic, the mystery, and the overall interest to boys or girls.
SPI would be a great addition to the 4th to 6th grade classroom library. The book can be used as an adjunct to reading advancement, comprehension, and writing lessons for students in these grades, making it useful for teachers working with state reading guidelines. And books that have excellent plots and story lines are always appreciated by teachers who prepare students for state testing involving reading passages for comprehension and understanding.