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Book Birthday and Review! Mission Titanic (39 Clues: Doublecross Book 1) by Jude Watson

24 Feb

missiontitanicRELEASED TODAY! A NEW 39 CLUES SERIES!

Mission Titanic
By Jude Watson
Series: 39 Clues: Doublecross (Book 1)
237 pages – ages 8+
Published by Scholastic on February 24, 2015

Synopsis- Ian Kabra is getting used to running the Cahill family empire. With his second-in-command Cara Pierce, they have it all under control. That is, until someone calling himself the Outcast, hacks into the mainframe Cahill computer, rearranges a meeting scheduling, and arranges a coup. Ian is literally thrown out of the Cahill mansion. The Outcast then challenges Ian. The Outcast has fiendishly recreated 4 of history’s worst tragedies, and Ian must stop the tragedies before innocent people get killed. The Outcast demands that Ian cannot involve outsiders. So, that means that… he must find Amy and Dan in their seclusion, and… *shudder* ask them for help and convince them to come back.

What I Thought- The 39 Clues remains one of my top favorite series. The idea of it is very cool – a different author writes each book in the series, taking the story where they want it to go. It is cool to read the different styles of authors in each book. It is an action-adventure series with complex characters and intriguing plots for kids. The online game that goes with the books is fun too – check it out at http://www.The39Clues.com.

After Gordan Korman wrapped up things so nicely in the  4th book of the Unstoppable series (Flashpoint) -I was wondering where the 39 Clues series was going to go next. Thank you Scholastic for getting Jude Watson to write the first book of this new series! Just like Ms. Watson did with the first book in the Unstoppable series, she sets up what is sure to be another excellent Cahill adventure! I like how the story seems to revolve more around Ian Kabra, as Amy and Dan had retired from the Cahills, even though they do get involved. There is a lot of mystery going on in this book and I was second guessing many of the character’s motives. I like that the story line makes you think and is not predictable at all. Like the Unstoppable series, there are 4 planned books in the Doublecross series. July 28th is WAY too long to wait for the second book in the Doublecross series to come out. Book 2 is titled Mission Hindenburg by C. Alexander London.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Inquisitor’s Mark by Dianne K. Salerni

17 Feb

inquisitorThe Inquisitor’s Mark
By Dianne K. Salerni
Series: The Eighth Day (Book 2)
352 pages – ages 8+
Published by HarperCollins on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- Jax Aubrey is unique. He and his guardian Riley Pendare/Pendragon are Transitioners – people who are able to experience a special eighth day (nicknamed “Grunsday”) between Wednesday and Thursday, and have a family magic talent (Jax’s is inquisition, Riley has the voice of command, etc.). They are able to protect (and fight) the Kin – super-powerful magic people, all with different talents. Some Kin, like Evangeline, are good, while some Kin are evil and want the eighth day to be the only day.

All was going well, until Jax (who was in hiding)’s former best friend, Billy, was kidnapped because he knew Jax. Not only that, but he was kidnapped by Jax’s uncle. And Jax’s dad had told Jax that he had no other relatives, besides his mother’s cousin, so what is going on? When Jax is forced to join his family, and the evil Transitioners that they serve, he can’t believe it. They work for the enemy and they want Jax to join them. But, Jax is loyal to Riley and Evangeline.

What I Thought- This was a very thrilling book. It explains a lot about Jax, and Transitioners in general. There is a lot of mystique added to the plot and the characters. Jax, especially in this book, is a character you can care for. His family is working for the enemy, and they want Riley and Evangeline in their clutches. The story draws you in, and gets you asking questions. The story is appropriate for all ages, and the publisher rates it for ages 8+. But there is a lot going on in the plot that may make it a bit hard for younger readers. This is a great series, and I cannot wait for Book 3!

I give “The Inquisitor’s Mark” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

The Sanctum Series Book 2: Scarlet’s Escape by Katrina Cope

15 Feb

scarletScarlet’s Escape (The Sanctum Series Book 2)

By Katrina Cope

338 pages – ages 10+

Published by CreateSpace on June 26, 2014

Synopsis- Before, Jayden was an orphan who had lived on the streets. Now, he lives in an ultimate school/campus called The Sanctum, run by the kind elderly man, Avando. Jayden has lived there for about a year now. The school, while devoted to education, also helps fight terrorism with advanced technology. Jayden and his friends help with scouting out and fighting the terrorism, from a distance of course (using robot people and remote hacking, etc.). But things start going wacky around The Sanctum, and it looks like the technology that they have is glitching and the school’s super computing AI, Scarlet is acting wonky. What if the technology is being used incorrectly? And who would do that?

What I Liked- This was a fun, adventure-filled book – as good as the first one in the series (see my review HERE)! While you don’t need to read the books in order, it would make a little more sense to do it. Jayden and his friends are wonderful characters, and everything that they do is realistic, and they are all strong characters. The terrorism fighting is an intriguing plot line. There is implied violence in the book, nothing gory (the kids fail to save a hijacked passenger plane from crashing into the ground, but save it from crashing into a crowded building, just into a field, and the newsfeed they watch afterwords implies that people died). It’s nothing that a tween couldn’t handle. The book also uses d*** (or d***mit) here and there – no other cussing. The story itself is a good one with a solid plot. The title of the book threw me. Scarlet is the super-computer running The Sanctum, with amazing Artificial Intelligence, and I thought she would be rebelling in this book, but that’s not the case. This is a highly enjoyable action series and another example of a well-done self-published series.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

February 2015 UBFP Column – Meet Bucks County Author Kit Grindstaff

5 Feb

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the February 2015 issue! The street and online version was published a couple of days ago. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (see page 9).

I hope you like the article!

Meet Bucks County Author Kit Grindstaff!

By Erik Weibel

Kit Grindstaff’s bio says she was born near London, and grew up surrounded by rolling hills, old English villages. After a brush with pop stardom, she moved to New York and became a successful song writer. She now lives with her husband in Bucks County Pennsylvania. Her award-winning debut novel, The Flame In The Mist, is a spooky, magical mystery-adventure for fantasy lovers, ages 9 to 90. It takes place in a fantasy world of Anglavia. Anglavia is ruled by the tyrannical Agromond family. The main character Jemma Agromond, realizes how evil they really are, she runs away only to be confronted with her true destiny. Only she can bring peace to Anglavia, but at what price?

 

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Erik: What steps do you take when writing a book?

Ms. Grindstaff: As soon as I conceive of a story, I have a rough idea of beginning, middle and end. The details fill in as I write. Before I begin writing, though, I explore the main characters, making lists of traits, and creating back stories to dig for conflicts, motivations, and possible plot and character arcs.

Then, I always outline; but I like to write freely within that structure. That way, the characters can take on a life of their own, and often move the story in ways that surprise me – and hopefully the reader as well! I always keep the end in mind, though, and if those characters get too unruly I’ll take back the reins and steer the story where it needs to go. Ultimately you have to remember who’s the author!

Erik: Where did the idea for the Rattusses (Jemma’s telepathc pet rats) come from?

Ms. Grindstaff: Jemma’s life at Agromond Castle being pretty bleak, I wanted to give her some light relief, and more constant companionship than her limited time with Marsh and Digby. So who – or what – could offer her that in a moldering old castle? Rats! (Magical ones, of course.)

As for being telepathic, they just happened that way. From word go, Noodle and Pie knew when Jemma needed help or comfort, and Jemma understood each twitch of whisker and tail. The specifics of their communication, though, developed over several drafts.

Incidentally, they were common-or-castle brown rats until a very late draft. Their golden fur was a “Eureka!” moment—obvious, right? After all, they are emissaries of Light!

Erik: Anagrams play a big part in the story. What was the inspiration behind them? Are you really good at them, like Jemma?

Ms. Grindstaff: At the outset, I wrote down a list of Jemma’s traits: some like me, some not. For example her flame-red hair and sea-green eyes (not like me), and her love of food (like me, though I’m not a fan of entrails). I’ve always loved word play and anagrams, and that popped onto the list too, though I had no idea at first how important they’d become to the plot! I don’t think I’m as good at them as Jemma is. I can only decipher them because I made them up.

Erik: The twists in the book not only kept me on the edge of my seat, but also really surprised me. Your writing style really fits with the plot and setting of The Erik: When did you start writing, and how have your surroundings influenced you?

Ms. Grindstaff: I’ve always loved writing. As a kid: short stories. In my teens: anguished poems, then pop songs – the writing of which is still my long-time profession.

I had a growing hankering, though, to write fiction. Eventually I took a couple of writing courses, and The Flame in the Mist was born. Growing up English, in the land of spooky old churches, graveyards and castles, and misty winters, was hugely influential! I’d include literature as ‘Surroundings’ too: I loved adventures, mysteries, classics like Dickens and The Woman in White (lots of fog and ghosts), and mystery paranormals like The Turn of the Screw. Anything steeped in atmosphere.

Erik: The Agromonds are a treacherous family. What helped in “shaping” them?

Ms. Grindstaff: The Agromonds’ personalities are exaggerated versions of people I’ve known, combined with British archetypes: The snob for Nocturna; the conflicted Lord of the Manor for Nox; the typical spiteful girl for Shade, and Feo…poor Feo! Sprinkle in a dark lust for power (look no further than any empire as a model), et voila! the Agromonds.

I’m also fascinated by the “shadow” side of personality: things people don’t want others to know about them, or even hide from themselves; their secrets and lies (a big theme in the book, as you know). Those hidden things (kept in the dark) are often what twists people and manifest as evil. So I played with that idea in creating the Agromonds. It also influenced the dark-light theme: by becoming aware of those secrets (bringing them to the light) and uncovering the truth, Jemma is able to escape the darkness and find the life she’s always longed for.

Erik: Thank you Ms. Grindstaff!

Ms. Grindstaff: Thanks so much, Erik, for your awesome questions! They were fun to answer.

For more about Kit Grindstaff, please visit Kitgrindstaff.com!

For more on books visit ThisKidReviewsBooks.com!

 

BONUS MATERIAL!

I was fortunate to meet Ms. Grindstaff at the Lititz Teen and Kids Literature Festival last year. That’s how I found out about her great book (and was able to bug get her to agree to an interview). I’d like to tell you a bit more about her debut novel The Flame in the Mist!

 

flame-in-the-mist-shadow-225

The Flame in the Mist

By Kit Grindstaff

464 pages – ages 9+

Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 9, 2013

Summary (from GoodReads) – “Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma’s past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia. “

 What I Thought: I loved the setting in this book – a world with no sun ruled by magical tyrants. That is my kind of book. The characters in the story are good. Jemma is a good – approaching great – main character. She is smart and spunky. Her character develops through the story and I found myself being drawn into her story. Her telepathic rat side-kicks (Noodle and Pie) are characters that readers will immediately love.  The evil Agromond Family is VERY evil and they are the perfect bad guys. The book is written so that is totally appropriate for MG readers, but the length and reading level is something an older reader will like also.  I recommend this book to lovers of fantasy!

I give this 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr

4 Feb

tommyblackTommy Black and the Staff of Light
By Jake Kerr
400 pages – ages 11+
Published by Currents & Tangents Press on November 3, 2014

Synopsis: 14-year-old Tommy Black was living a good life, until he and his guardian (his kind, but boring, grandfather) are attacked by shadows. Apparently his grandfather is a powerful magician that holds a powerful magic staff (who knew?). Whoever has held the staff is called an Archmage, and it is passed on through Tommy’s family. Tommy will be the next Archmage. All of this is quite a surprise to Tommy. Things get even more complicated when Tommy finds out that the magic is dying, and the Shadows (the evil monsters) want the Staff and they are willing to do anything to get it. Now Tommy isn’t sure if his grandfather is dead or alive and Tommy must join forces with a young granddaughter of a powerful Waymaster (a magician who commands a Waystation (which is a magical train station)). It helps that the young girl is an immensely powerful sorceress. It doesn’t help that she is a cynic. But will that be enough to stop the Shadows and find Tommy’s grandfather? And did I mention that Tommy has NO idea how to use the staff? All he can do is make light! Things are about to get very interesting.

What I Thought: I read a lot and I read a lot of magic stories. It is very cool when I come across something very different. This is an amazing book. I was really blown away by the story. Mr. Kerr has created a unique world of magic that can take place anywhere on Earth. It wasn’t until about half-way through the book that I realized that the book takes place right before World War II (one conversation is between 2 experienced magicians wondering if Hitler is some magician of the voice, or just a guy good at speaking (because he rallied so many people)) . Then I had an AH HA! moment. It isn’t that the setting isn’t described well – Mr. Kerr’s writing is top-notch (it’s just that all of the details clicked. Like I realized that the “theater” mentioned was an acting theater, not a movie theater.). The plot line is solid and the story totally entertaining. Tommy is a great character, and while the protagonist is 14, the book could easily be early Young Adult or late Middle Grade because of the length and reading level of the book. It’s the kind of story you can really get lost in.  Tommy has confidence and knowledge that he doesn’t know he has. You cheer him on throughout the book. There is no graphic violence in the book (people get attacked by magical creatures, a person dies, people get shot at, etc., but none of it is gory or graphic).

This book’s recipe:

a good-sized handful of magic,

2 boatloads of adventure and excitement,

1 cup of monsters, finely minced,

& 1 dash of history,

I can’t wait for Book 2! – Could you tell I REALLY liked this one? ;)

I give “Tommy Black and The Staff of Light” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Baffling Case of the Battered Brain by Pendred Noyce

29 Jan

batteredbrainThe Baffling Case of the Battered Brain

Series: The Galactic Academy of Science

By Pendred Noyce

129 pages – ages 9+

Published by Tumblehome Learning, Inc.  on October 1, 2014

This book is part of a series of books called the Galactic Academy of Science. The series is published by Tumblehome (click HERE for their website) that is meant  to introduce kids to science topics. The publisher describes the series this way:

With time travel and mysteries that need solving, the Galactic Academy of Science (G.A.S.) series instructs readers on how to think like scientists. Under the guidance of a Dude or Dudette from the future, the middle school characters are faced with treacherous, present-day crimes that require a historical knowledge of science in order to be solved. From investigating problems to analyzing data and constructing explanations and solutions, this series blends elements of sci-fi with educational methods that distill the key thinking habits of scientists and engineers.

Synopsis of this book - Clinton Chang is his school’s star soccer player. He was playing in an important game when he hit his head on the goalie’s knee and then fell on the ground. When he is told to sit down for the game, and a strange man helps enforce the decision, Clinton is angry. He wants to play! Clinton is shocked when he then sees the stranger accept a check from a parent of a kid on the opposing team! Who is this bribe-taker? Right before Clinton goes over to yell at the stranger, a young time-traveler, named Selectra Volt, stops Clinton. Sectra Volt has a mission for Clinton and his best friend, Mae. They will go back in time to learn from some of the greatest scientists who studied the human brain.

What I Thought- I was kind of expecting a Magic Tree House or Magic School Bus type book (two series I LOVED when I was younger – okay still do ;) ) with this one, but I surprised with this book because it is written for a little older kid. At 129 pages it also offers a nice read for an older kid.  Time travel isn’t easy to pull off in a book (I am always finding inconsistencies), but Dr. Noyce did a good job in this one. The story line around all the scientific stuff is solid and entertaining. I love science and learning about the brain and the history of science was very interesting to me. Clinton and Mae time-travel to famous scientists who studied the brain and learn from them. The manga-style illustrations are a great compliment to the story. It is an illustration style I am a fan of. There are short biographies of the scientists Clinton and Mae meet in each chapter, which are another nice touch. The story is thorough and it seems to be well-researched. One thing that threw me off, though, is that I thought that this book was the first in the series, but apparently it’s the third in a sub-series in the Galactic Academy of Sciences with Clinton and Mae  as the MCs. It would be nice to have a bit more of an introduction to the Galactic Academy of Sciences or a recap of previous adventures. The book ends with resources and suggested reading on concussions and head injuries which parents and teachers will find very helpful. Now that I know about this science-based series, I will be checking out more of the titles.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

Want to learn more? Check out Tumblehome Learning HERE!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Review – The Call of Distant Drums by William Pisani

26 Jan

Tomorrow is the second annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day and I am a MCCBD reviewer! WOO!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks

MCCBD was created “to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature.”  Make sure to read to the end of my review to see how you can participate!

multicultural-book-mcbookday-white-21-300x234

I got to review and AMAZING book for MCCBD! I am very happy to tell you about it.

Ththecalle Call of Distant Drums

By William Pisani

212 pages – ages 8-12+

Published by JoNa Books Publishing Company on September 1, 2005

Synopsis- From the back of the book: “The fierce Blackfoot — Blood. Never defeated in battle by the white man. But how much longer could they continue to roam free in the ancestral lands they had long held sacred.”

What I Liked- This is not a book of action. This is a book of reflection and thoughts. Sure, there is still action, but what makes this book wonderful is that it inspires pondering within you. The main character is an elderly Native American who had become adopted into the Blackfoot tribe when his people were marched to a reservation but he had escaped. Now that his life is almost done, and because his family has passed on, he has decided to migrate back to his homelands, like the spawning salmon. The story reflects his traveling and facing spirits in his way. Along the way, the man thinks back upon his life. I found the book overall just incredible. Mr. Pisani’s writing style draws you into the mind of the main character. The story  is compelling and is very believable and seems to be very well researched. Mr. Pisani captures the feel of the Native American nations and their beliefs. He shares their heart-break over the loss of their tribal lands. The story is very moving. I think that kids 8+ would like the book, but to really appreciate the story, I’d recommend it to kids 12 and older.

This is an example of a book where I wish my rating scale went higher.fivebooks

Here are some ways you can help us celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day: 

  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and view the book lists, reading resources and other useful multicultural information.
  • Visit the Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media and share. They are hosting a Twitter party! Join them on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages.
  • Visit the Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents on their website.
  • Visit MCCBD sponsors. You can find them HERE
  • Connect with them on their new Facebook and Twitter  pages.

MCCBD SPONSORS:

Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop

Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof

Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing

Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books,   Muslim Writers Publishing,   East West Discovery Press

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter! The winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice!

Visit the Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

You can subscribe to a newsletter about Multicultural Children’s Book Day, too!

Don’t forget to check out the Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog (click HERE to go THERE)!

MAKE SURE TO JOIN THE TWITTER PARTY ! Join the party and win book packages! Join us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages! This Twitter Party is hosted by Co-Founders Mia Wenjen (@Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr (@JumpIntoaBook1). You can review the Twitter Party Prizes on the MCCBD blog here.

Review! Stella By Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

24 Jan

stellaStella By Starlight

By Sharon M. Draper

336 pages – ages 9+

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on January 6, 2015

Synopsis- The year is 1932. Stella and her family are African-Americans living in a segregated southern town. Stella loves her family, her community and her schools, but isn’t comfortable with being second class because of her skin color. When the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is spotted doing a ritual near Stella’s house, Stellla’s community does everything they can to stay under the KKK’s radar. But when a conversation in church results in bringing up the fact that there is a chance for African American’s to vote, some of the men in Stella’s community go to sign up. And that’s when the KKK starts acting up. Stella decides to take a stand.

What I Liked- This is a marvelous historical fiction novel set in the segregated south. The description of the time and place brought vivid pictures to my mind. Ms. Draper really transports you into the story, and you can feel the strength of Stella’s community. It just makes you want to smile. Stella is a great main character whom you care greatly about and really understand her feelings. Stella is loosely based on Ms. Draper’s grandmother.  I like the addition of Stella’s journal writings in the book, with misspelled words slashed through, and when she was typing, some simple mistakes on the typewriter, etc. It is an incredible authentic touch to the story, and it brought out Stella’s character even more. The story has great historical information about segregation and the civil rights movement. Ms. Draper has packaged an incredible history lesson in a captivating story.

I give “Stella By Starlight” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Camp Bad Guy Episode 1: The Worst Kids in the World by Ellis Weiner

22 Jan

campbadCamp Bad Guy Episode 1: The Worst Kids in the World

By Ellis Weiner

131 pages – ages 11+

Published by Frederator Books, LLC  on October 13, 2014

Synopsis: Jim Goode is a… Good kid. So why are his parents forcing him to come to Camp Bad Guy? It’s a summer camp that trains kids to be the world’s next dictators, supervillains, and just plain psychos! They’re encouraged to steal, cheat, trick, etc. And Jim is honest! After arriving at camp, Jim starts wondering if he really knows his parents after all. How will a good kid survive at Camp Bad Guy?

What I Liked: This book was awesome! It creates a new world that you will love and hate at the same time! I like how the descendants of the villains come from villains that are “real” (one of the counselors is James Bond’s best enemy’s grandson), while others are just made up for the book, like The Chuckler (the camp director), but are very creative. The story is hilarious and just a blast to read. The humor can be a bit edgy – like there is a class titled –  “How to Make Sure a Person is Drowning” and “Junior Life-Taking” (a play on life saving) – but – hey, it’s Camp BAD Guy! It’s the same kind of snarky humor in Mr. Weiner’s Templeton Twins.  There are a few minor cuss words (mostly “D***”). This stuff isn’t that bad, but I know some parents won’t like that for younger kids. Mr. Weiner’s story-telling abilities shine through in the book. I really liked the main character, Jim.

I give Camp Bad Guy five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

REVIEW! Tombquest: Book of The Dead by Michael Northrop

19 Jan

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS ONE!

tomb

Tombquest: Book of The Dead

By Michael Northrop

197 pages (ARC)- ages 9+

Published by Scholastic on January 27, 2015

Synopsis: You know that life isn’t good when you’re 12 and you’re gonna die. The doctors don’t know what disease you have and they can’t help you. That’s Alex Sennefer’s life. That is, until his archaeologist/museum curator mom (think Indiana Jones – she works for the Metropolitan Museum of Art) finds the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and uses it to bring Alex back from the dead (he had been dead for 10 seconds). Great, right?  Well now a bunch of strange stuff is going on – museum mummies changing positions, strange weather patterns – and an ancient cult rising. The Death Walkers threaten everything in the world and Alex (and his best friend, Ren (who is a girl)) have to stop them.

What I Liked: This is a great start to a new series. There are 5 books planned for the series with the last one being published in March or April of 2016. Unlike Scholastic’s other multiplatform series, Tombquest will be written by just Mr. Northrop (the other series have different authors writing different books). Multiplatform means there is an online game to go with the books. I think that’s cool and a way to bring kids into reading when they may not be so interested in reading. Mr. Northrop really built up a great story. Alex is a great character, and Ren really reminds me of one of my classmates. The beginning of the book is a bit tense because Alex is always sick, but it builds up for the adventure that is going to happen. The book is non-stop action-packed. The dialogue was hilarious and very realistic. Plus, the online game (see it HERE) for it is really cool!

screenshotThe game is easy to use and appropriate for kids. It requires a Scholastic account (free to sign up for). I think it would have been better to have an example of the game on the main page so kids and parents could read what it is about before signing into it, but that’s only a minor point. The graphics are very cool. You can build your own tomb and raid others’. It is a nice compliment to the book.

I like how there are lots of little touches in the book – like the chapters are numbered with Egyptian numbers and there is an Egyptian alphabet in the back of the book.  Mr. Northrop wrote a great adventure with a satisfying ending but left a ton of questions  and plenty to write about in the next book. I am looking forward to the next adventure!

I give “Book of The Dead” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Want to know more? Check out Mr. Northrop’s website HERE or Scholastic’s website HERE.

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