Rock of Realm by Lea Schizas is an exciting tale full of adventure, excitement, and surprises. While written for a young adult audience, the tale is aRock of Realm by Lea Schizas is an exciting tale full of adventure, excitement, and surprises. While written for a young adult audience, the tale is ageless and makes for a great reading experience the whole family can share.
Fourteen year old Alex Stone and her best friend, Sarah, have just finished a babysitting job and are heading home. With Alex’s frisky pet German Shepherd Butch, and Butch’s pet squirrel Pops by their side the girls decide to take the shortcut through the park. Out of nowhere, a small pink stone falls from the sky hitting Alex on top of her head. Nearby the girls find a pouch with gold glitter. While both items seem innocent enough, the girls joke about the possibility of them being magic and recite a chant they had read in a book written by their favorite English teacher. Suddenly, nothing would ever be the same.
Being of royal lineage in a parallel world (a little detail her parents had not discussed with her) Alex finds she and her friends have been transported into the alternate realm and are on the adventure of a lifetime. In this world Alex and Sarah can understand everything Butch and the wise-cracking Pops say. They meet new friends who help them on their quest and learn powerful lessons of friendship and love as their adventure unfolds. Join Alex and her friends as they learn things are not always as they appear.
Lea is an amazing storyteller. Her characters are so interesting and colorful you find yourself wrapped up in their tale and encouraging them on their quest from start to finish.
I can hardly wait for the next adventure in this series!...more
This creative tale explains exactly that. It was 1750 on a hot summer day at the swimming hole when JoeyHave you ever wondered where ideas come from?
This creative tale explains exactly that. It was 1750 on a hot summer day at the swimming hole when Joey first met the strange little man called Frendric. The adventure begins in a parallel universe with a portal right behind Joey’s house where an idea vent was zealously erupting in glowing balls called squirts (small ideas) and gushers (larger ideas).
Frendric is one of the dwarves that mines the ideas. The problem he is faced with is bringing in a large gusher. These gushers are a bit too much for the miners to handle, driving them to insanity, and that is why they need help from a young human – one still innocent enough to be able to see their world and help get the gusher back safely so the ideas can be harvested and get to the human for whom they are intended. Adults, as in many fantasy stories, no longer have the innocence and purity needed for such a task. Young Joey agrees to help them on their quest as long as he can bring his dog, Lady, along and if they want to leave and come back home they are permitted to do so. The dwarves readily agree. As Joey first encounters their world he makes a happy discovery. His best friend Ben (who has recently moved away) has also been asked to join the quest. The boys are thrilled to be together again and eagerly agree to help the dwarves mine the ideas so they can safely be brought into the human world.
There are a couple of elements about this book that make it very special. The story takes place in 1750 which is only important as having a time of historical reference for some of the ideas that have been mined and some they see that glimpse a more current era. Secondly, by giving the dwarves very specific jobs (winders, seers, finders diggers) in the mining and revealing some of the ideas they have discovered, the readers are being presented with some unique learning experiences in a very creative way. This is to be greatly commended.
This story is a wonderful fantasy adventure that leaves the reader anxiously anticipating a sequel.
The Lost Years of Merlin is the initial installment of the five book series chronicling Merlin’s life as a boy, a prequel to Arthurian legend. It follThe Lost Years of Merlin is the initial installment of the five book series chronicling Merlin’s life as a boy, a prequel to Arthurian legend. It follows the ambiguous details of Emry’s obscure youth and the path he followed leading to the emergence of his magic and the wizarding name he proclaimed of Merlin. Barron’s imagineering of this portion of the great wizard’s life gives new depth to the renowned character as we see his life through the eyes of a young boy.
The story opens with a dream sequence foreshadowing a time magic escaped his fingertips to unleash a fire kindled in Branwen’s defense (the woman claiming to be his mother) the very fire whose flames took his sight leaving him blind until he learned to use his gift of “second sight”.
Emrys, now 12, is desperate to know of his past and why he has no memory of a time before five years ago when he and Branwen washed upon the shore. She claimed to be his mother but would not speak of their past or where they came from. Instead she taught him the lore of the Celts, Druids and those more ancient. She felt his lost memory was a blessing, the young boy considered it more of a curse. The pair shared a lowly hut they constructed themselves on the outskirts of a small village. Whenever anyone from the village was ill or injured, they would come to Branwen bartering for her services as a gifted healer as she was well acquainted with the old ways and herbal remedies. When in need of her services the villagers sang praises to her unique talents, but the truth of the matter was, they were afraid and thought her to be a sorceress or demon. One day the village bully came to their hut and set fire in an attempt to free the village of this “she-demon”, as he and two of his minions grabbed Branwen by the legs and began dragging her into the fire, Emrys’ fear and rage swelled within, coursing and raging as he ran forward trying to help his mother. He could not control it any longer and felt the bully, Dinatius, should burn for this. He could envision the fires and wished they would consume the bully. At the thought, an enormous tree branch shuddered and cracked as if struck by lightening; it fell upon the young bully trapping him as the branches exploded into flames. As the spine shivering shrieks erupted from the inferno Emrys knew what he had done as he plunged into the flames trying to save the boy. His dream vision had come to pass.
As the young half-blind Emrys struggles to learn the secrets of his past, the magic within him, and his true identity he comes to the realization he must leave this place, returning to the place he had washed upon the shore to make the attempt to voyage back to the mist-shrouded isle of Fincayra, an enchanted isle that lies between earth and sky. He asks the woman who calls herself his mother to join him in his quest. With great sadness she declines, but takes a jeweled pendant from her neck, presenting it to him. She calls it the Galator and tells him its power is great – if it cannot keep him safe it is only because nothing outside of heaven can. Mighty waves crashed over his feeble raft tossing it about as a mere twig on the outraged sea. The storm swelled and he thought about calling upon his powers to save him but after the last fiery encounter with his magic, he became less afraid of the violent storm than trying to unleash a magic he might not be able to control. The waves pounded over him and when he felt he could hold onto his little wooden raft no more the mysterious shrouded isle appeared and he is again washed upon the shore.
As he comes to and regains a bit of strength he ventures further into the strange land. The colors are so vivacious he can sense them, even through his half-blinded eyes. He can feel the plushness of the forest floor and he meets a merlin, its wing broken in battle with a rat, a strange girl of the forest called Rhia, and a tiny but brave giant named Shim. Emrys discovers that blight has come upon the isle that is somehow entwined with his own destiny. He must decipher the riddle of the dance of the giants to change the fate of this land and discover the secrets within himself.
This is an engaging and enjoyable tale you will want to experience many times over. It explains the roots of the greatest wizard of legend and myth in an epic saga filled with wonder and adventure.
Scott Childers appears to be a normal 14 year old, trying with all his might to fit in. Problem is, Scott has a secret he desperately wants to hide…anScott Childers appears to be a normal 14 year old, trying with all his might to fit in. Problem is, Scott has a secret he desperately wants to hide…and it’s a whopper. He is actually an alien from another planet with the power to travel through time, to plant thoughts into someone’s mind, and to see things before they actually happen. Scott is a Seer.
The Seer, by G. Clifton Wisler, is an action packed adventure that follows a lonely teen, forced into the life of a wanderer, never quite belonging anywhere, or able to stay in a place too long, for fear of his secret being discovered leading to his capture as a possible dangerous alien. He is accompanied in this lonely life by a strange little man, Tiaf, his teacher and companion from his home planet. Although Scott is an Antrian by birth, Earth is the only home he has ever known. Tiaf spent his life among other telepaths and seers and had been taught all the mysteries before their home planet became the victim of a super-nova. They are the last of the ancient race that sped through space looking for a new planet to call home.
Scott had always thought of his ability to see into the near future as a curse but came to realize his special talent was a gift. He could not understand why he would have these visions if he wasn’t meant to help those around him – even though this interference would threaten to expose his secret. This gift came with a lot of responsibility. It was a lonely life, always being on guard to keep his secret hidden meant moving…a lot.
This fast paced tale is filled with adventure and suspense that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen next.
Eleven year-old Wendy Wiles’ world seems to be crumbling all around her. Her parents are talking divorce, she has to move away from her beloved modernEleven year-old Wendy Wiles’ world seems to be crumbling all around her. Her parents are talking divorce, she has to move away from her beloved modern city apartment to a broken down old-fashioned farmhouse in the country, and her brother, Mike…well, he just loves to get on her case and constantly tease her like older brothers sometimes do. Just as Wendy thinks things can’t possibly get worse, mysterious things begin to happen.
Her new best friend, Jennifer, tells her the old dilapidated house they moved into is haunted! Strange things are happening everywhere and Wendy isn’t the only one seeing weird sights. Strange music fills the air and a sudden gust of wind has leaves swirling into ghostly human shapes that dance about; a shimmery vision of a young boy dressed in old fashioned clothes plays a haunting melody on the piano, and a young woman’s face that appears in the mirror are all clues to the mystery that must be solved. Mike, Wendy and Jennifer dig through old library records on their quest to unravel the truth about what happened at that old house so many years ago. The clues slowly begin to fit together to unlock the secrets hidden in the murky past when a mysterious skeleton key suddenly appears to confirm the rest of the mystery.
This spine-tingling paranormal is a great read for kids aged 9-12. This is a page-turner that will keep them engaged beginning till end.
This series is a prequel of sorts to the legend of Merlin beginning in the early years when Merlin is first coming into his magical powers. This is thThis series is a prequel of sorts to the legend of Merlin beginning in the early years when Merlin is first coming into his magical powers. This is the second story in the five book series chronicling the great wizard’s youth.
As the story opens, Merlin is 13 years old and has the privilege of attending the great council meeting with the ambassadors of nearly every race of fantasy that reside on the enchanted isle as they must decide what to do with the Treasures of Fincayra. He has been charged with the guardianship of the Flowering Harp to heal the lands for the harp only responds to a heart true and wise – the heart of a wizard.
Having toppled the evil King Stangmar (his estranged father who was bewitched) and freeing Fincayra from a terrible blight Merlin sets out with the magical harp to restore the enchanted world into a flourishing Merlin has only one month to complete a quest to find the soul of the Seven Songs of Wisdom and journey to the Otherworld in order to obtain the elixir that can save his mother’s life. On his quest he makes a number of discoveries not only about his past, but about what lies within. The challenge is enormous. He has begun to discover the powers within him, but has not as yet mastered the ability to control these emerging powers. He has learned some of the stories of the wisdom of the Druids, the Greeks and the Celts, but us far from truly understanding the true meaning of it all. He has learned his true name and pieces of his past but now must also learn the secrets that sleep within his innermost being. He has already lost his father in the battle, and now his mother, poisoned by a deathshadow meant for her son, is the first victim of the renewed surge of evil sweeping the land.
Merlin is an emerging personification of yin and yang. He is full of contradictions that compliment each other and open his eyes to the possibilities of what destiny has in store for him as he follows the winding path to wizardry. Contradiction and controversy are rampant in the epic Arthurian legend, and Mr. Barron has imagineered an early life worthy of these legendary roots as the keeper of knowledge, particularly of the arcane secrets.
As in all epic journeys, great adventure and unfathomable danger lie in wait for the boy who would be wizard. He must battle the ogre Balor He is accompanied on his great quest by a merlin hawk named Trouble, the forest girl Rhia, and a mournful jester named Bumbelwy. There are captivating characters and backstory for the Arthurian legend that begin to emerge through this tale. This is a tale that will not disappoint the most demanding Merlin fan. It will engage you and take you of the ride of your life.
A lot of things can be said about Owen Birmbaum. He is twelve years old and the fattest kid in school. It’s not mean – it’s statistics. He hasn’t alwaA lot of things can be said about Owen Birmbaum. He is twelve years old and the fattest kid in school. It’s not mean – it’s statistics. He hasn’t always been this way – only for the last two years. Another thing you can say about Owen is he is an easy target for bullies – even his gym teacher has targeted him as a source of personal entertainment and new feats of humiliation are orchestrated with each and every class.
Owen is not the only one having trouble. He is very close with his little sister Jeremy. Her name is actually Caitlyn, but she belongs to a club called GWAB (Girls Who Are Boys) where the girls are required to refer to one another by boy names, wear boy clothes, and cut their hair short. Things have not always been this way for Owen and Jeremy.
One thing Owen has going for him is he is smart. Really smart – he has an IQ one point shy of genius status, but he doesn’t brag about it. This eccentric kid invents really cool things like the Nemesis – a device kind of like a TV that shows things from the past, and Owen really needs to see something from a specific date and time in his past because that is when everything changed so dramatically for this brother and sister.
This story is laden with the trials, tribulations and miseries of middle school life told directly from this quirky kid with a heart that is even bigger than he is. Throughout all the humorous events of the story, the author engages you with this tale of two compelling kids that you can’t help but root for, particularly as snippets of their past are slowly revealed and Owen discovers the answers are not in the past, but in the present, and this is what will determine the future.
This story is humorous, honest, and above all else heartwarming.
SLOB has been awarded the Junior Library Guild Award and, in my opinion, is destined to receive many more accolades.
Have you ever wondered what happened before Peter Pan? How did Peter meet Tinkerbell?Peter and the Starcatchers is a best-selling children's novel thaHave you ever wondered what happened before Peter Pan? How did Peter meet Tinkerbell?Peter and the Starcatchers is a best-selling children's novel that was published by Hyperion Books. It is written by humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Peterson, the book provides a backstory for the character Peter Pan, and serves as a prequel to J. M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy. It was illustrated by artist Greg Call.This book introduces us to characters both new and old as we explore the high seas.
Peter and his ragtag group of orphans are forced into slavery and being delivered to their new master on the island of Rundoon by the leaky vessel known as The Neverland. Rundoon is known to be governed by a barbaric king, whose acts of torture and abuse--such as the time he fed his father to his pet snake--are well-known throughout the empire. The boys know they need a way out…now! The answer? They needed a leader. Peter gains leader status by being the oldest and, of course, being able to spit the farthest. The orphans quickly realize they need his help and look to him for help in planning a way to escape what appears to be a forlorn fate. This leaky ship is hardly more than a rusty bucket of bolts infested with rats. Life looks grim for the boys as they are being served meals that sometimes…well…are still moving, the boys know they have little to look forward to, even if they could escape the torture and abuse of the second-in-command, Slank.
As it happens, as the ship was loading these poor boys, a large trunk was placed in the hold of the vessel, and locked up tight. There is clearly something very special and magical about this trunk--whoever touches it is healed, begins to sense of the beauty if the universe, and feels a profound sense of happiness and well-being. Peter is determined to find out what treasure this trunk holds, and in doing so he runs across Molly Aster, the only daughter of the man who is scheduled to be the ambassador on Rundoon, and who has--oddly enough--booked his passage separate from his daughter.
Initially, Molly clearly knows more about the trunk than she will tell Peter, but she is forced to take him into her confidence as Black Stache, the most dangerous pirate on the high seas, successfully attacks first Molly's father's ship and then heads for "The Neverland."
What the trunk holds is much more than simple treasure; the contents are so powerful as to be connected to the ongoing struggle between good and evil that pervades the universe. Peter and Molly valiantly try to fight off both Stache and their ship's own Slank from the trunk, but the battle for it takes a backseat as a violent storm whips up, and all the boys, Molly, Stache, and Slank wind up on an island inhabited by savages where visitors are promptly fed to a vicious beast in order to strongly discourage them from ever returning.
Thanks to Molly and Peter, the trunk of starstuff is safe, returned to the Starcatchers and Molly's living father. Peter however, in his surviving exposure to the starstuff, has gained the permanent ability to fly. It is also uncertain as to whether or not he will ever age. Peter learns he will be an outcast, and even though Molly will return to London, he decides to stay on the island, so he can be the person he "really is" and not "a circus sideshow". The orphan boys decide to remain with him, and Leonard Aster creates a fairy, which they name Tinker Bell, to protect Peter.
Peter and the other orphan boys are soon taught by the natives how to build a house, and they learn to survive on the island, which Peter names "Never Land" after finding a plank that said "Never Land" from the ship that wrecked on its rocks as he watches Molly, and only Molly, on the ship containing a few starcatchers, Leonard, Alf, and of course, Molly sail back to England.
This book is filled with wonderful imagination and adventure. I can't wait to read the next installment in the series. ...more