Monday, November 29, 2010

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - The Last Apprentice

 
Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance.  Thanks, Shannon #1!  

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
 

From School Library Journal  (Review at Amazon)
Grade 5-8

When 12-year-old Thomas, seventh son of a seventh son, is apprenticed to the local Spook, whose job is to fight evil spirits and witches, he expects a life of danger. However, the boy doesn't realize just how soon he'll face a powerful enemy alone, as Mother Malkin escapes her confinement while the Spook is away. Thomas is forced to use his wits, and the help of his enigmatic new friend, Alice, to fight the evil witch. And defeating her is only the start of the boy's problems. 

Delaney's characters are clearly presented and have realistic depth, and Thomas's mother and Alice stand out for their strong words and actions. The protagonist's voice is clear, and his conflicts over his actions ring true. This first entry in a proposed series is an excellent choice for readers who are looking for a more sophisticated alternative to R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books (Scholastic), and the pacing and edgy illustrations at the start of each chapter will appeal to reluctant readers. Delaney's rural, quasi-medieval world is populated by a variety of magic creatures, and readers will look forward to discovering more of them, along with Thomas, as the series continues. 

A solid choice, particularly for middle school boys.–Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI 

I love this series - love it!  It's a bit dark and not one that should be read right before bed, but it's unique and fascinating and irresistibly compelling. I chose the review above because it is one of the best I've seen at capturing the feel of these books.  My son started reading them around 5th grade. He's in 8th grade now and still can't wait for the next book - and neither can I!  Give them a try.

Happy Monday!

23 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

I've heard good things about this series, so I don't know why I haven't read them yet. I'll put it on my reading list because it sounds like something both me and my 6th-grade son would like. Thanks!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Sounds great and fun to read.

Yvonne.

Anne said...

Franklin, WI is not too far from where I live. maybe I can get some of these kids to read for me! ;)

Jen Daiker said...

Another awesome book to consider on the TBR list!!!!

BTW I saw that you're currently reading the Denzel Washington novel, what are your thoughts thus far? I'm curious!

Christina Lee said...

I love that you are honoring MG!!! This sounds GREAT!

Jennie Englund said...

Shannon, you are an amazing reader-mama! You've raised some serious book worms!

I love everything you say about every book.

Was Thanksgiving with your sister so much fun?

Mary Aalgaard said...

As a mother of 4 boys, I'll add this to the list.

Jana said...

You are AWESOME!! Have a great day!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Once again you spotlight a book that is staring at me from my TBR pile. Definitely sounds like I need to move it up to the top!

Thanks #2. I went back and added a link to your post. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never read those books, for some reason; my library has them, and I like the covers . . . I guess my TBR pile's just getting too big. :P

ali said...

This is excellent! I'd seen this series before, but at that time my voracious reader couldn't get into it. That was a couple years ago, though, so I bet he'd like it now (he's in 5th grade now).

Thanks for reminding me about this series!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always looking for good books for my sixth grader!

Lydia Kang said...

Great review! I like the premise and the fantasy elements. Gotta write this one down...
:)

Myrna Foster said...

I've only read the first one (because it was the only one out at that point), but I really liked it. Thanks for reminding me to pick up the rest of the series.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I don't read much middle grade, but thanks for the heads up on this one!!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Hmmm. I think I'll have to buy this for my son. It's the one book he won't be expecting. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I just finished reading Ranger's Apprentice to the class - sounds like they'd love this one too! :) Thanks for the tip

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss shannon 2! :) hooray for mg!!! i think i could like this book. for sure im gonna put it on my biwr (books i wanna read) list. medieval and magic creatures! wow! how cool is that!
thanks for a cool review.
hugs from lenny

Robyn Campbell said...

Love this review, Shannon. I have these on my TBR list. I can't wait to read them. I'm glad your kids read lots. I'm proud of your mothering skills, bff. :)

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Shannon, you do an awesome job of exposing us to great works. It's much better than going to the book store or library and not having a clue what's really good. Thanks for your tireless efforts to help us become more aware of what's out there. :)

Scoot said...

I love mid-grade books. Thanks for sharing about this one! Sounds great.

Susanne Drazic said...

Thanks for sharing the book review. Have not read it yet.

Beth said...

My kids loved this series. Maybe I should check it out too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...