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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Zhane The Boy Train by Ookgie Taylor introduces readers to Zhane Sparks by taking them to Joyceville Elementary School at Joyceville, Maryland. He is playing with his friends in the championship basketball game for their school. Their team name is Joyceville Lions. They are playing against the Lennonville Pirates and Zhane scores. The Joyceville Lions win the game and Zhane is very excited. Zhoe Sparks, Zhane’s sister, and her friends are cheerleaders for the Joyceville Lions and they run to congratulate the team. Zhane’s family is proud of him and his coach, Ray Bennett, speaks to the press about how the boys worked hard. Zhane believes their luck came from his lucky train, which he always carries with him. The story turns whimsical when Zhane is hit by lightning on his way back home and turns into a boy train. Let us take the train and go on a joy ride to discover new things!
The book is informative and I like the concept of educating children with the help of Zhane the boy train. The illustrations make the scenes and the characters come alive for young readers. The story has adventure, action, and magic, which makes it appealing to readers. It is a good book for bedtime storytelling and can be used in classrooms too. The subtle message of the importance of teamwork is also woven into the story through Zhane’s reply to the reporters after winning the game. The story will encourage children to travel and I cannot wait to read the next book to find out where Zhane the boy train is going to take us.