Tucker Pierce lives in a quaint New England town on the Island of Pemberwick off the coast of Maine. When the islanders are exposed to a lethal virusTucker Pierce lives in a quaint New England town on the Island of Pemberwick off the coast of Maine. When the islanders are exposed to a lethal virus they are quarantined by a secret branch of the navy called SYLO. Initially Tucker has no problem believing this story as he has seen some scary things including the sudden death of the star running back right on the field during a Friday night game. Later that same night Tucker observes an unexplained series of strange lights, sounds almost like music followed large explosion over the water.
The virus story begins to lose credence as Tucker, his best friend Quinn and reluctant school mate Tori start to realize things just don’t add up. If there is a virus why aren’t more people dying, why have they been blocked from communicating with the mainland, how is it that Tucker’s parents seem to know Captain Granger the commanding officer on Pemberwick and what about the boat Tucker sees get blown out of the water without even a warning telling it to return to the island first? More and more it seems like SYLO is the enemy and Tucker and his friends feel like it is up to them to get to the mainland in order to tell the American public what is really happening on Pemberwick .
MacHale has crafted a very good action, adventure, mystery and science fiction story. This is an extremely fast paced book that is difficult to put down once you get past the first 30 pages which were a little slow going. In addition to the action which is on par with John Marsden’s Tomorrow Series (my gold standard of action writing for teens) you are compelled to read more because you just want to know what the heck is going on. Were the lights an alien aircraft? Is SYLO friend or foe? Why are they being kept from the truth? Oh and the truth not that you get much, just a little nugget will drive you crazy because it just adds to the mystery of what is going on and you will just want to read more and more but sorry you have to wait until March 2014 for book two (equally as great, actually better). The only reason I didn’t rank this as a five star is because the character development is a little slow but don’t worry everyone has to fill out fast as they are forced to mature quickly due to some of the craziness they endure. Recommended for middle school boys, they will eat this one up. Actually one such boy said to me "this book brings you like 3,000 ft into the air and then just leave you there, at like the perfect cliff hanger" ...more
The Dark Lord wakes up confused, where is he, why is the sky so blue, what are those repellent fresh smells (not flower he hopes), where is the smell The Dark Lord wakes up confused, where is he, why is the sky so blue, what are those repellent fresh smells (not flower he hopes), where is the smell of munitions explosions and the sounds of thousands of his battling orcs reaping destruction throughout his lands? The Dark Lord is disturbed to find that he has somehow ended up in “the pit of despair”, otherwise known as earth. To make matters worse he is stuck in the body of a thirteen year old boy. Now he has to deal with a bunch of meddling do-gooders, the loss of his dark powers and no way to return to his home. Unless of course he can manipulate a new group of slaves, cough cough allies, all be it a bunch of thirteen year olds.
A clever and humorous approach to the idea that the Dark Lord could be transported to our world and time stuck in the body of a 13 year old boy. If this book doesn’t make you laugh then it is possible you have no soul, or that it has been taken by the Dark Lord. This is a great recommendation for middle school boys though in book two the one predominant female character is the star of the show so you could push it toward any girl who might like a good laugh. ...more
This story follows Anna through fourth grade as she struggles with friendship, her relationship with her mother, and her identity as an American BornThis story follows Anna through fourth grade as she struggles with friendship, her relationship with her mother, and her identity as an American Born Chinese (ABC). Being a book lover, Anna has books to help keep her company as she navigates the year. The writing is simple and uncomplicated. There are some nice little illustrations by Abigail Halpin, and the book is filled with tidbits of information about Chinese culture. Younger kids will love recognizing the titles Anna loves, and probably enjoy reading about books they haven’t read yet. Overall it's a very sweet little book, and might be of interest to some EL students, or to those girls who love to see the names of books they've read mentioned in other books, but it's really on the younger side. I imagine you could sell it to some girls in third to possibly fifth grade.