Monday, February 14, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Valentine's Review + Giveaway


It's Valentine's Day, so I am dedicating this Marvelous Middle Grade Monday review to my favorite author crush, James Dashner. Oh, how I love his books--all of them. 
Every. Single. One. 
This post is for you, James!!

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
 
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.

The Jimmy Fincher Saga 
by the oh-so-wonderful
James Dashner
*fan-girl squee*

 


Goodreads Blurb: (book #1, A Door in the Woods)
What begins as a summer-day climb up his favorite tree quickly takes an ugly turn for poor Jimmy Fincher, as he witnesses something that turns his perception of reality upside-down. When the perpetrator of the act notices Jimmy in the tree, the ensuing adventures explode into a torrent of suspense and excitement. 
The next month of Fincher's life includes an ancient legend come to life, a conspiracy of madmen decades old, strange portals to other worlds, villains named everything from Raspy to Shadow Ka—and behind it all is the old wooden door in the forest by Jimmy's home. There, something wondrous awaits.

Knowing how I feel about *sigh* James Dashner, this review probably comes as no surprise to most of you. The simple fact that this series was written by my beloved James should be enough, but for those of you a bit more finicky about the reasons for reading or recommending a book, I'll expand.

One thing I love about this series (and The Thirteenth Reality series) is the family dynamics. In fact, one of my very favorite things about The Thirteenth Reality books is the relationship Tick has with his dad. It's wonderful to read an MG series with a close and loving family. 

Also, the Jimmy Fincher series includes all the things MG kids (especially boys, but not only) will love: tween humor, adventure, magic, other worlds, creatures... 

I've read several less-than-glowing reviews *bares fangs and growls* on Goodreads, but they are wrong about this book's appeal for young readers (not to mention evil for being mean to my James).

Trust me when I tell you that young readers of fantasy will LOVE this series. It's not Maze or Scorch. It's not meant to be. The voice and style are so different that fans of Maze would never know it was the same author.

So . . . what are you waiting for? Hop over to your favorite bookstore and spoil yourself your kids with the whole series!  Then you can LOVE James Dashner like I do even more than you do now.

AND . . . to sweeten the deal and further convince you that all things James = wonderful, I am giving away a copy of A Door in the Woods to one lucky follower. Just leave a comment on this post before Friday

Happy Valentine's Day!

41 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, that's good to know. I was just looking for some new books for my young one. :)

salarsenッ said...

What a great book selection!! Thanks, Shannon.

Jen Daiker said...

What a perfect selection today!! This is fantastic to wake up to this morning!!

Kulsuma said...

I would love to read this. Please count me in if it's international:)
k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

Ishta Mercurio said...

Shannon, you always have the best recommendations for boys. Thanks for another great one - and the giveaway!

storyqueen said...

I knew about the Maze Runner books and the 13th Reality, but I didn't know about these books!

I would love to read them. Putting them on the list now!

Shelley

Tamara Narayan said...

Wow, this sounds good. I haven't read much middle grade material since I was that age myself. Since my six-year-old already acts like a teenager, I should start scoping out the material now.

Deb said...

Whoa...thank you! Hope I win, win. But, either way will be sure to get this whole series for my book club kids!!

Deb said...

Whoa...thank you! Hope I win, win. But, either way will be sure to get this whole series for my book club kids!!

Meredith said...

These books sound like so much fun! I haven't read anything by James Dashner yet, but I'm going to now!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

They sound great!
Awesome post :D

Happy Valentine's Day!

Shari said...

We actually have the series and my kids really enjoyed reading them.

Susanne Drazic said...

These sound interesting. Will have to add them to my TBR book list. Thanks for sharing about them.

Jennie Englund said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Shannon!

You have lotsa love!

lotusgirl said...

I've enjoyed his new series. I guess I'll have to check that old one out. Thanks for the heads up.

Old Kitty said...

I love, love, love your pink hair!!! Yay!!!!!

And Yay for baring fangs and growling!!! That's the best review and recommendation for these books!! :-)

Happy Valentine's! Take care
x

Robyn Campbell said...

*leaving comment* *hoping to win* ;)

You rock, bff. You always know some great boy books. I love you amigo. ;)

I truly loves me some James Dashner.

Happy V Day.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm with Robyn... you always have great "boy" book suggestions.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Hi Shannon - I'm on the wrong post for this, but I just found your blog on the Writers Platform Building Crusade. I'm so happy to have found a fellow picture book writer! There don't seem to be too many on the list. Your blog looks terrific and I am now following. I hope you might have a chance to pop over and check out mine. Nice to "meet" you! Susanna

Angela Ackerman said...

*gasp* I have not read these! Thanks so much for the recommendation!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Melissa said...

So cool! I need to check this series out! It looks great.

Megan K. Bickel said...

Hey fellow Crusader! Glad to meet you! I look forward to reading your blog! : )

Kimberly Franklin said...

All I have to say is.... I love your pink hair picture!

Myrna Foster said...

I haven't read these, Shannon. Thanks for the recommendation!

Tony Benson said...

Hello fellow crusader. I just dropped by to introduce myself and say I'm looking forward to getting to know you and the other crusaders.

Thanks for the book recommendations - they look interesting.

Happy Valentine's day

Margo Benson said...

You have me drawn in on these! I have some young folk to buy for....only I'll HAVE to check them out first LOL! Thank you.

Diane said...

Don't come after me now, but I have not heard of this author.... hanging head in shame.... can we still be friends????

Sounds like a new one to explore! :O)

Kelly said...

I'm so embarrassed to say that I"ve never read James Dashner. And I've heard other RAVE about his books. So I need to win this so I can read it! :) And if I don't win, I still will read it!

Jemi Fraser said...

Strangely I've never read this series - definitely gotta fix that!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I certainly loved the Maze Runner and sequel. I have the 13th Reality, but haven't read it yet. Just moved up my list! Thanks.
Love the pink do btw!

Llehn said...

I'd love to play please.

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stephanie Thornton said...

I really enjoyed The Maze, and you know I'm always on the look-out for new books!

Happy V-Day!

Alexia561 said...

Oh, more James Dashner books to love! Squeee!

Happy Valentine's Day! Love what you've done with your hair! ;)

Heather said...

How could I not have heard of this series?! You're so good at introducing me to new things! Thank you. BTW, I love the pink hair in your profile pic. That's a good look for you. ;)

xlacrimax said...

I have never heard of this author before, thanks for letting me know about the books!
xlacrimax[at]gmail.com

Mary Aalgaard said...

I gave "Maze Runner" to my middle son for Christmas. It's still sitting on the coffee table. I think he's afraid to read it because Mom picked it out. Maybe I'll read it first. That should solidify his reluctance.

Candice said...

I love James Dashner too, but I've never read the Jimmy Fincher series. I guess I should!

Tamika: said...

I have a great appreciation for middle grade fiction- it was around this age that reading became the platform for my dreams of publication.

This sounds like a dynamic series:)

Jen Chandler said...

As always, a fabulous review for some fabulous books! These are definitely going on my miles-long list of books to be adopted :D

~Jen

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

How did I not know he wrote these?? Thanks for the heads up. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I just finished The Maze Runner a couple of weeks ago. It took me a little to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked.

It's impressive when authors can create completely different voices for various books.

Enter me to win! I'm officially a fan of Dashner!

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