Gripper Products/Look Under Rocks (2022)
Reviewed by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (02/2023)
“Dream-Shifter” by Lois Wickstrom is an intriguing tale about Gwendolyn, a young preteen who can change forms as she dreams. Being a dream-shifter is a unique ability that allows Gwendolyn to gain the resemblance and traits of animals she dreams about as long as she remains asleep. The only catch is if she does not successfully shift back to her human form before awakening, she is stuck in whatever animal form she dreamed. One night after her family went to bed, a fire broke out inside her home. The blaring fire alarms caused Gwendolyn to suddenly wake up before she had the chance to shift back into her human form. So now Gwendolyn is homeless and must figure out a way to survive as a full-grown elk during hunting season.
Desperately Gwendolyn and her family search for a way to change her back. She has little time to spare before her animal form becomes her new reality and must find a way to switch back. Luckily, she enlists the assistance of a magician with a magical library full of different spell books that may have an answer. While searching the volumes of books, Gwendolyn discovers books written by her grandmother. Finally, after some time searching, the group finds a book that will help, but it is enchanted and will not open. Will Gwendolyn learn to use her gifts and change back into her human form? Or will she be stuck as an elk and face the dangers of hunting season in the wild?
“Dream-Shifter” by Lois Wickstrom is a fast-paced adventure geared toward older elementary and middle school-age children. The chapter length is perfect to keep students’ attention while remaining engaged. The writing style is simple to follow and inviting, so it will not intimidate independent readers. Imagery bounds off the pages as Gwendolyn the elk breaks through the imagination of a child into real-life issues. Suspense-filled adventure fills the pages of this story as it unfolds into a fascinating fantasy children’s book. “Dream-Shifter” is a creative chapter book that will keep its reader turning pages as they learn problem-solving skills and Gwendolyn’s fate.
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