By Michael Kogge
Age Range: 6 to 8 years
Grade Level: 1 to 3
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press (March 17, 2014)
Book Description: When Ezra Bridger runs in to an old friend from his past, secrets about Ezra’s missing parents are finally brought to light. Can Ezra unravel the mystery of their disappearance while still helping the rebels fight the Empire? The stakes are higher than ever as Imperial Agent Kallus and the fearsome Inquisitor join forces to stop the rebels. With such dangerous enemies, the team is in for the fight of their lives!
What to Expect: Full-color designs, Chapters, Friendship, Adventure, Action
Source: Review copy
Michael Kogge’s Ezra’s Duel With Danger is part of a Star Wars Rebels series of books, where he takes the episodes we’ve seen and transforms them into age appropriate chapters for young independent readers. Throughout the book, readers dive back into three pivotal episodes (“Empire Day”, “Gathering Forces”, and “Path of the Jedi”), learning more about the characters and how they think, since the animated series’ fast, action-packed pace is unable to cover that sort of material on the screen. As someone who grew up with difficulties in reading comprehension, Ezra’s Duel with Danger and other Star Wars Rebels chapter books are a great tool to help younger fans understand what they see on the screen and what they read on the page.
Personally, I like the subtle details added here and there. For example, when Sabine and Kanan discover Ezra’s birthday is on Empire Day, he winces upon them finding out–a detail that wasn’t shown in the episode. Also, Kogge does a spectacular job in capturing the emotional and heavy moments and making them even more profound, at least from a younger reader’s perspective.
Two scenes that managed to give me more goosebumps were when Ezra connected with Tseebo and forgave him and when Ezra felt crushed in response to Sabine speaking ill about him during his illusion on the Ghost. In the latter, Kogge briefly described Ezra’s heartache and it also managed to give me one in the process, “Her words had the impact of her detonation charges. Ezra shrank against the wall, his heart blown to bits.”
With age appropriate vocabulary and descriptions, young readers will easily connect to the passages, especially if they’ve already seen the episodes. And for those children who haven’t actively watched the series, the book successfully and succinctly captures the story, making it an easy going read for children looking to practice their comprehension skills in a galaxy far, far away.
Ezra’s Duel with Danger is available to purchase online and in bookstores.