Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)
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Middleworld (Jaguar Stones #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  677 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Harry Potter meets Indiana Jones meets Clash of the Titans! Fasten your seat belts for a heart-stopping ride of suspense and terror, set against a background of haunted temples, family secrets, ritual sacrifice, and adolescent angst, as a pampered, pizza-eating Boston teenager fights to survive in the teeming jungle and save the modern world from the Ancient Maya Lords of...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 5th 2007 by Smith & Sons, Imprint of Smith and Kraus Pub. Inc.
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I know that children's books have to be simpler in scope and insight than adult books -- well, actually, I'm not at all sure about that. I do think we don't give children appropriate credit for their ability to recognize good characterizations, to react appropriately to the author's intended message, or to handle complex ideas.

After reading "The Chosen One," a very, very good but very depressing book, I needed something light and fluffy. So I hit the children's section at the library. In my exp...more
Mayan mythology is a complex topic to handle (says the non-Mayan expert) so I really admire the authors for creating this story and explaining aspects of Mayan culture in such a fun and pretty easy to understand way. A few times I did get lost. There's a lot going on, not just with all the Mayan culture references but also with other storylines. Sometimes I would forget who was who when they were talking about all the Mayan gods but that's not too big a deal. The older reader in me didn't always...more
Feb 08, 2013 Spook rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Spook by: Teacher
This book was assigned as part of my English curriculum in a 7th grade advanced class; nobody in the class had read it and in all honesty, it was more of a school experiment than anything. All the reading was done in class, accompanied with discussion, and soon enough, everyone had some complaint or other about the book.

Originally, the book seemed somewhat promising. Although, from the start, I found the writing style to be bland and juvenile, like something a sixth grade student would write for...more
Max is the only child of two archaeologists who specialize in the ancient Maya world. His parents have left for the summer on a dig in San Xavier and soon after Max is sent to join them. In San Xavier Max stays with his uncle but his parents have disappeared and no one has heard from them. He meets Lola a Mayan girl and sets out with her to find his parents and uncover the secrets of The Jaguar Stones.

Being the only child Max is spoiled, selfish and in his own words only looking out for number o...more
This book started out pretty good, but I have a few qualms about it. Max is a severely disliked character. Pretty much by everyone. Including me. I loved all the Maya mythology and stuff. The imagery was great! I loved how the authors described the jungle and I loved the adventure. However, I did not love the procedural "walking through the jungle" scenes. I think the book could have been cut down a hundred pages or so. However, I do like this book. I will read the second one.
Peter Miller
I think that the middle world is a great book. It is about a young boy named Max Murphy who's parents are archeologist they have to go on a trip to San xavier and cancel the family trip. While max is at home playing video games he finds out that his babysitter is acting a little weird when she was feeding maya statues corn and talking to them. The next morning Max finds at a play Plane tickets to fly to San Xavier when his babysitter says that they say he is special and he has to go. when Max ge...more
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Heather Petty
I was lucky enough to score an ARC of this book, which releases later this month.

It's a great middle grade book for any kid into action/adventure stories. But my personal favorite part was the way the authors explored Mayan mythology. I only wish there was more magic and mythology!
I listened to this as an audiobook and I liked it. I might not have stuck with it had I been reading it, but since I was usually driving when listening, I could just tune out the less exciting parts. For me, the flaws were: some dull parts and some unrealistic plot and events, but it's Mayan Gods come to life, so if I can suspend belief for that, why not for gaps in plot? On the plus side, it was a fun book for me. Again, listening was probably more enjoyable than reading. The reader was great,...more
Courtney Burns
No Young Adult book should take me almost 2 weeks to read. I found this one obnoxious (mostly Max) and predictable.
A huge thanks to Jennifer Brod at Goodman Media for sending me a copy of this book for review!

I think that Middleworld: The Jaguar Stones is more of a Middle Grade book than Young Adult, but the premise sounded so interesting, and the main character was fourteen, so I decided to give it a shot anyways. I'm glad I did, because I think this is a book that a lot of younger readers might enjoy.

This first book in the Middleworld series is steeped in action, adventure, and Mayan culture. I felt like i...more
This novel is an unforgettable adventure. We meet the main character, Max who is just looking for a vacation of video gaming, laying around the house, and visiting family in Europe. When his parents get an opprotunity they cannot refuse everything does not go as Max had hoped.

His family's strange and mysterious housekeeper, Zia, soon sends him off to stay with his uncle. His uncle lives where Max's parents went missing. As Max uncovers some of his Family's secrets, he soon is swept up in an adve...more
This book was donated as an advanced reader copy from Egmont publishing, and I will say I love the cover. I think it pulls readers in with the rich detail and Mayan stone skulls in the water waves. Jaguar Stones book #1 reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones for middle grade readers.The first chapters revisit a lot of Mayan history and culture and the characters are mysterious and adventurous. I really enjoyed Max's short stay a the "banana factory" and discoveries in the secret room.

I had a hard ti...more
"MiddleWorld" is a fast-paced adventure (with some fantasy elements) for boys and girls ages 10 and up. Both kids and adults will find it very entertaining; however, the authors used enough "big words" that I wondered if tweens and teens really were their target audience. Sometimes even I didn't know what the words meant. In a few cases, I think it was actually a typo (there were a noticeable, though not huge, number of misspelled words in the book).

The characters were engaging and realistic, an...more
Every once in a while I come upon a book I just can not get into nor finish for the life of me, and The Jaguar Stones: Middleworld was unfortunately one of those types of books

One of the main reasons for not enjoying this book was Max, the main character. I felt that he was just too whiny and bratty for my tastes, leaving me to have a hard time putting up and sympathizing with him and his situation, and don't even get me started about connecting to him or his situation. It was just hopeless, sad...more
Kids will probably enjoy this one more than I did. It was was exciting in parts and the Mayan information was interesting. My issues were with the characters. Max was really a spoiled whiny brat through the majority of the book and then had a dramatic turn around. I don't know a lot of kids or teens who would act that horrible. I wonder what kinds of kids the authors know? Did they write the character like that based on what they think kids are like, based on someone they know or because they th...more
I love the Indiana Jones movies with all the adventure mixed in with fact, history, legend and lore. When I saw the summary for Middleworld I was immediately intrigued because it reminded me of a story you might see Indiana in! I was also interested because it told about the Mayan culture - something I knew very little about. With fingers crossed that I would like the story, I began to read. I will be honest and say the preface really made me worried about the rest of the book. The preface takes...more
I'm a big fan of anything involving ancient history, so when I was given the chance to read Middleworld, I couldn't say no. One of the most interesting things about this book was the plot. This wasn't your typical adventure story. The story is full of mystery and action, but it ties in a lot of interesting information about an amazing ancient culture. That was something that really set this story apart. It seemed to aim for an accurate depiction of an ancient culture, and the Maya still living i...more
As I was just about to put this riveting adventure down for the night (I had about 100 pages left), I read a few more pages, and suddenly I kept on reading until I finished it. This book hits all the points a good, kid-friendly adventure story should hit, in my opinion. The characters were well developed, the plot was well structured and got me wondering and asking questions, and was suspenseful in the right parts. I really enjoyed how the main character, Max Murphy, totally changed by the e...more
For a middle grade book, this is certainly a long one! 400 pages plus a glossary of terms! Not that is wasn't compelling to read through but that's mighty long for YA let alone MG.

I found Max to be a rather unlikeable character for about 2/3rds of the book. He was whiny, bratty and self-centered and it was rather disturbing to watch him insult entire tribes with his tantrums. As with all good coming-of-age books, he does realize the err of his ways and starts doing things for the greater good as...more
Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones in this heart-stopping–and funny–adventure set in the Mayan jungle.

The summary was enough to sell me on the book. The above blurb on the back of the book made me a bit nervous though. I’m a huge fan of Percy Jackson and Indiana Jones so in theory I should love the book but I was worried that it was more of a marketing ploy than anything. Well, I gotta say they were pretty close to the mark with the blurb.

This book was a good mix of Percy Jackson and Indiana Jone...more
Sarah BT
This is a rare book that is action/adventure without being too heavy on the fantasy. There are some fantasy elements, but they're worked into the story to be more realistic than fantasy. I think this one will have great tween appeal. It doesn't take too long for the adventure to start and once it does, it doesn't slow down. There's a lot of Maya history packed into the book which I think readers who enjoy facts will appreciate. This might even be a fiction book that your usual non-fiction reader...more
The authors must have watched the Indiana Jones movies quite a few times while they were writing this book. With strange temples & magical stones, it reminded me of the movies in a very good way! Now I do have to stop so I can mention something: the version of the book that I read was a free advance reader copy that my bookstore received. The most important reason for mentioning this is because I will be discussing several parts of the book which may have been changed before it went to publi...more
Max Murphy likes his video games, comfy air conditioned house, and visiting his grandmother on vacation in Italy. When his Archaeologist parents decide to go on a dig in Central America instead of Italy for their trip and leave Max at home he's pretty angry. He feels like his parents don't care about him and wonders (jokingly) if he is adopted. But once we gets a plane ticket to go meet them in San Xavier, he's ecstatic thinking they've changed their mind about a vacation.

He sets off with a bett...more
This book was actually pretty good. In it, Maximus Sylvanus Murphy (Max for short), a gamer and son of two famous archeologists who study the Maya, has the journey of his life. Max is looking forward to his trip to Italy when his parents come home and cancel the trip, as they are going to South America, but Max can't come. His mother and father leave but soon his housekeeper, Zia, sends him off to South America and his parents are missing. Max stays with his uncle until he is lured into the jung...more
Betsy Pauzauskie
My 9-year-old Grandson recommended this book as more exotic than The Dragon in the Sock Drawer, when asked which book he preferred. So I took Middleworld home to read. I personally learned a great deal about the Mayan culture, history and pronunciations. Middleworld, the title, refers to the living world and it's beings (though Mayans also have many levels that are counterparts to our heaven and hell.) I enjoyed the imaginative and complex plot.

Our hero is a 14-year-old Boston boy, Max, who trav...more
Jan 01, 2012 和泉美優 rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to 和泉美優 by: Rachel
With his parents vanishing in the middle of the rain forest in Central America, Max Murphy is forced to go to his uncle's mansion, when he discovers that the Mayans are still alive and there is the legend of the Jaguar Stones, things are about to get worse. He meets Lola, a Mayan girl who helps him unlock the secrets of the Jaguar Stones in San Xavier, where the Mayan prophecy of the ending of the world begins to unravel. Soon, they're on the run, and desperately protecting the only Jaguar Ston...more
Reading Teen
This was the best book I've read in a long time. I was so immersed in it, I read it in one day. The characters, the story, the writing, everything was absolutely great. It is kinda like Rick Riordan's books, in the way it brings ancient mythology into modern life. I loved all of Riordan's books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus. You can see my review for Lost Hero here. I love all of this mythology stuff, Greek being my favorite, but Mayan mythology...more
I wanted to love Middleworld and almost did. I am rereading it now as a read-aloud and am liking it much more this second time through. What is great: the setting (a fictional country based on Belize), the blending of ancient and modern themes, the opportunity for learning about the Maya civilization, and the extras included in the book (like the explanation of the Maya number system which intrigues my math-loving son). What I wish were better: the book tends to be a mixture of wonderfully surpr...more
Well, where do I begin my review bout this amazing book? First let me say there were a dew things that I disliked about it. Ike when they were in the Temple of Chahk, I couldn't really follow the story well. I think Max kinda over did it with rudeness to Lola's tribe, but at times Max could be a really lovable and funny character. I think the characters were really developed. I really liked Lola's personality, and she's all survival. But at times Max would lighten up the dark mood. Every book ne...more
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