Book reviewer extraordinaire!

Archive for November, 2011

Leven Thumps by Obert Skye

I purchased the first three books a couple weeks ago. I was not sure if I’d like them but wanted to add a new level of reading material to my library. We have a lot of old books. Some predate me.

Anyway, I was unimpressed at first because I felt there was too much information provided in the beginning of the book and students may not want to devote so much effort in keeping track of who and what and where. That being said, I am actually looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Here is the breakdown of characters: Leven Thumps – main character, Antsen – very briefly introduced but inserted in the story occasionally, Winter Frore – secondary character, Clover Ernest – secondary character, Geth – secondary character, and Sabine – nemesis. No, that is not all but those are the most important in book one. They are all from the world of Foo – yeah, I had issues with that as well but I can get past it. Foo is the world where dreams live and are active. They actually develop from the dreams of humans and continue to reside after the dreamer wakes. Sabine wishes to live and rule over both worlds and Leven is the only one who can stop him. Winter was sent to earth from Foo to assist, as was Clover, a 12 inch monkey-like creature assigned to be with Leven. Geth was a king whose soul was extracted and placed into a seed, which was planted on earth, and needed to help Leven, Winter, and Clover.

Although the storyline is somewhat trite the characters are likable and the events are unique. I am looking forward to discovering more about the characters as they are developed in book two. The author appears to have a good sense of humor and adds a little tongue in cheek to the story and his own bio. So I am willing to give the books a chance.

Cahills vs. Vespers: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman

So, the 39 Clues are over and I won’t tell you who won, but it will be obvious when you read The Medusa Plot. I won’t spoil it.

The Medusa Plot takes off where the 39 Clues left off. It seems that Amy and Dan Cahill are embroiled in another familial feud. This time is is the Vespers (not a Cahill family clan) and they want something from the Cahills. Members of the various Cahill clans are kidnapped and the siblings must follow the cryptic directions given via text message from Vesper One. Just like in the 39 Clues, Amy and Dan travel all over the world following clues and dodging death at every turn, but this time they have help from their cousins.

Gordon Korman does a great job in twisting the plot and setting up the youngsters to be hunted, threatened, nearly killed and so much more. Yes, there is more. I missed a bit of sleep to finish this book.

I am loving the two series and my students borrow them from my shelves. They are just as excited as I am about watching the kids reunite to fight for their familial clans. Great fun as we watch Amy mature into a young woman, with boyfriend in tow, and Dan becoming a little darker and more introspective. I can’t wait for book two!

The books are for fourth graders and up. A bit too violent (IMO) for younger students without parental involvement. We are talking life or death situations here, some kids are not ready for the emotions the books may bring up.

Teachers, go to http://www.scholastic.com/teachthe39clues/ for the Educator Network. Great tools to use the books in your teaching. Librarians, the books will stay checked out!

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