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“At my old school, we were never a tiger shark’s lunch—or dinner,” Phoebe. –The Great Shark Escape
The Great Shark Escape
The Magic School Bus #7
by Jennifer Johnston
Mrs. Frizzle is teaching her students about ocean life, and her students must complete a report about an ocean creature. Arnold isn’t too happy about the assignment because ocean creatures can be dangerous. When Mrs. Frizzle announces a field trip to an aquarium, Arnold is relieved that the class will not be doing anything daring. But when the class arrives at the aquarium, they discover it had to close because of a flood.
Despite this, Mrs. Frizzle is determined to teach the students about the ocean, so the magic school bus takes the class into the ocean. They end up face-to-face with all kinds of sharks, from great whites to goblin sharks. Then, when things get scary and the class is really swimming in trouble, you’d never guess who helps the class make the great shark escape!
The Great Shark Escape is an exciting story with plenty of suspense. Arnold tells the story and his dislike of danger adds some humor. Black and white illustrations appear every 1 to 3 pages. The illustrations show Mrs. Frizzle’s students, who are a diverse group, under the sea, which will help readers understand the plot. In addition, a sketch of each shark allows the readers to see the differences between each shark.
Shark-loving kids will enjoy a trip into the open ocean to learn all about sharks. Throughout the story, Mrs. Fizzle’s students’ reports appear on notebook paper. Each section is about one paragraph long and contains information about specific sharks as well as general shark information. Readers will learn about a huge variety of ocean life including the whale shark, the great white shark, the angel shark, the goblin shark, and the hammerhead shark. Even though all of the shark information is interesting, some readers may have a hard time jumping from the story to the shark facts and back.
The high-interest topic and the fun format of The Great Shark Escape will appeal to readers. While Arnold’s narration shows his fear of sharks, in the end, Arnold’s bravery allows him to save the class. The Great Shark Escape uses an entertaining story to teach about sharks. Because each book in The Magic School Bus focuses on different topics, readers will never get bored with the series. Shark-loving readers can learn more about sharks by reading Shark Lady by Jess Keating.
- The magic school bus narrowly avoids getting eaten by a shark.
Drugs and Alcohol
- The magic school bus transforms into a helicopter and then a submarine. “Not only was the sub going down deep, it was shrinking and so were we! Now the sub was only two feet long.”