Dive below the waves to where the real adventure begins.
Hector lives with his family at the Marina in an Italian coastal town where they organize tourist expeditions to explore the many wonders of the sea. Hector’s dream is to become a deep-sea diver, just like his father. Then, one day, an unscrupulous entrepreneur opens a much newer center next door, forcing them to close their business. This man has a single purpose, to find the legendary Pearl in order to sell it and make money. Hector decides to find a way to thwart the plan and save what matters most to him: the sea, his family, and his dream.---from the publisher
92 pages 978-1636550060 Ages 6-10
Keywords: chapter book, adventure, deep sea diving, family, Italy, Europe, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, mystery detective spy
This falls into what I think of as "The Shrinking of Treehorn" category. This is the 1970 Florence Parry Heide title that is illustrated by Gorey, and is sort of a picture book but definitely a lot more. It would be a challenge for an elementary school student to read, but seem too young for a middle school student. This struck me in a similar way. The full color pages are very appealing, and the story a bit quirky and fun, but I'm not sure my readers would enjoy it. Sending it on to the elementary school where it will delight precocious 2nd graders and 5th graders who want a somewhat shorter book. For an absolutely excellent full review, check out Alex Baugh's Randomly Reading site. https://randomlyreading.blogspot.com/2021/10/the-secret-of-magic-pearl-by-elisa.html
Recommended by: Karen Yingling, Teacher Librarian, Ohio USA
See more of her reviews: https://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com/