Monday, May 20, 2019

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Farworld Series by J. Scott Savage

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Water Keep (Farworld #1)
Land Keep (Farworld #2)
by J. Scott Savage


Goodreads Blurb (Farworld #1):
Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place-Farworld.

When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two worlds.

But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass's secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld's only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elements-water, land, air, and fire-and convince them to open a drift between the worlds.

As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them--Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S'Bae. Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers.
The Farworld series is a good one. There are currently two titles available: Water Keep and Land Keep, both of which are amazing stories. My 13 year old and I have read and enjoyed them both (him, several times!). I love the worlds and creatures Savage has created here, as well as the depth of the storyline. Layers of plot keep us riveted and guessing all the way through. These are a wonderful MG choice for readers ready for longer, more deeply developed stories. 

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday on Tuesday - Molly Moon

 Marvelous Middle Grade Tuesday

Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

by Georgia Byng



 From School Library Journal:

Orphan Molly Moon is unloved and unlovely. The other children pick on her, as do the mean-spirited women who run Hardwick House Orphanage. Molly occasionally escapes to the Briersville library to avoid them all. One day she finds a mysterious tome on hypnotism hidden in the stacks and discovers her real talent. With her newfound skill, she is able to change her luck and her life, getting out of the orphanage to win the local talent competition, and ending up in New York City, where she hypnotizes the entire city into making her a child star. However, evil Professor Nockman will stop at nothing to get the book. A flashy, holographic cover will attract readers.

Most of the characters within begin as caricatures, either very good or (more often) very, very bad. Their outlandish adventures are reminiscent of those of the Baudelaire siblings in Lemony Snicket's popular "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books (HarperCollins) with some big differences. Molly Moon's story doesn't match their clever and elegant way with words, but it does have something they lack-a satisfying and very moral ending. There is no cliff-hanger here, as Molly atones for the conniving and devious use of her skills, goes back to the orphanage to make amends, and even uses her talents to turn the worst of the bad guys into good guys. Recommend this lengthy novel to fans of Lemony Snicket's books and similar adventures.
 ~ Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA

 Molly Moon is a truly adorable.series. I started collecting them for my daughter when she was a toddler. These books are full of humor, action, and unexpected plot twists. I also love the themes of friendship, responsibility, and all things important and good--but they aren't force fed, they unravel, which is wonderful. This is another stocking stuffer-approved MG treasure!
Happy Monday!
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