Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
by Ari Magnuson
Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012!
When you run from bullies, you never know where you might wind up…
Bitopia is a wonderland of fantastical foliage and mysterious creatures. It’s also a place where Venators lurk, vile creatures that relentlessly hunt children. So the children of Bitopia, the only human inhabitants, are forced to live in a high-walled city for protection, a medieval metropolis of cold and shadow where time passes but no one ages, a place of no escape.
Like all the other children of Bitopia, Stewart arrives there unexpectedly while fleeing from bullies. And, like all Newcomers, Stewart dreams of finding a way back home. Risking exile from the city and the protection that it offers, Stewart and Cora, his Finder, discover a clue to escaping, one that presents them with a terrible choice: face their greatest fear and risk death, or be trapped in Bitopia forever.
A fast-paced adventure that addresses a fundamental element of bullying-fear-and provides readers with an example of how to deal with bullying on their own.
As a teacher AND a mom, I really appreciate this book and its creative approach to bullying. What I love even more, though, is that the message is embedded within a fun and vivid storyline. Kids who love fantasy will enjoy this book just for the story--the anti-bullying message is simply an added bonus.
For all my teacher-writer friends out there, BITOPIA has a great teacher's guide full of strategies for implementing the book into bullying discussions and lessons.