HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Karate Class Mystery: Invisible Inc., No. 5
Author: Elizabeth Levy
Illustrator: Denise Brunkus
Publisher: Cartwheel, 1996
ISBN-13: 978-0606094740 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0606094741 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0590603232 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 059060323X (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages: 4 – 8
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Levy, Elizabeth. The Karate Class Mystery: Invisible Inc., No. 5 (published in 1996 by Cartwheel). In this Hello, Reader! Level 4, which is No. 5 in the “Invisible Inc.” series, the three schoolmates, Chip, Charlene, and Justin, who call themselves “Invisible Inc.,” and were first introduced in The Schoolyard Mystery (Invisible Inc., No. 1), must solve another mysterious situation. When someone takes Justin’s karate belt, his friends in Invisible Inc. try to determine a motive as they investigate the disappearance. Elizabeth Levy has also written Something Queer at the Ball Park, Something Queer at the Haunted School, and The Cool Ghoul Mystery, which have been reviewed here, as well as least four other books in the “Invisible Inc.” series: The Mystery of the Missing Dog (Invisible Inc., No. 2); The Snack Attack Mystery (Invisible Inc., No. 3); The Creepy Computer Mystery (Invisible Inc., No. 4), which has also been reviewed here; and Parents’ Night Fright (Invisible Inc No. 6).
The Karate Class Mystery is a book about friends who work together even when their friendship is threatened. Who has stolen Justin’s white karate belt? Is it his friend Charlene, who is mad at him? The story is set in a karate class, with lots of talk about moves, punches, and blocks. The karate stuff is fun, and the vocabulary is explained really well. The karate teacher, Sensei Bobby, is encouraging but never condescending, and always demands the highest performance from his students. Justin is hard of hearing, and the way he copes with his disability is a natural part of the story. As this is an advanced title in the Hello Readers series, much of the story is told in dialogue.