Lisa's Reviews > The Incredible Origins of the Onyx Sun

The Incredible Origins of the Onyx Sun by Christopher Mahoney
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Oct 04, 11

Read from September 11 to 15, 2011

Added 10/4/11

Another rave from a 5th grade boy. I failed in my attempt to get a girl interested, but there's always tomorrow.

Added 9/21/11 after original review
Well Christopher, I have to add a least one more star to my rating (with a potential 4th coming). I gave this book to a 7th grader to read and to give me honest feedback. He LOVED it and I trust his opinion. He said he would give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 and even noticed it was "Book One" so assumes there will be a second. Also, he read the entire book in about three days. He is a voracious reader and a gifted child, but I think he would have not finished it so quickly had he not liked it. (Special thanks to GT!)

So, I assume I was correct in my comment: It could very well be that this is one of those kids books that appeal to kids, but not adults. There are quite a few out there. I don't think kids would question as many things as I did and I do think the idea of three children saving the world would be much more interesting to a 10 year old than to an adult.


I may add another star depending on the review from the 5th grade boy I gave it to him today. He is also an avid reader, so I expect feedback from him in just a day or so. I would like to say that I am enjoying passing along a book and sharing feedback with my students. I think I will make this an ongoing thing!

Next time, this book goes to a reader of the female persuasion!


Original Review:

I won an ARC through Firstreads.

I read a lot of YA/Children's books. I will have to say I was intrigued by the beginning. I enjoyed Zack and Max trying to follow Grandfather and solving all the riddles. However, somewhere around page 100 I just stopped caring about what happened and I just wanted to finish the book. It took me about 4 days to get through the last third.

I think the characters needed to be developed more. It's like we didn't really get to know any of them all that well. The story idea was good, but I just didn't buy some of the plot twists. Conflicts were not detailed enough and solutions came way too quickly and easily. I find the idea that Machvel was able to convince 25,000 people to A. mutiny and B. keep it a secret a bit far-fetched! Grandfather doesn't have access to all the files on his own ship but 3 kids were able to get that information?

Now, I know this is a book written for children so I gave it to one of my students and asked them to give me an honest response. I did not tell them that it fizzled out for me. It could very well be that this is one of those kids books that appeal to kids, but not adults. There are quite a few out there. I don't think kids would question as many things as I did and I do think the idea of three children saving the world would be much more interesting to a 10 year old than to an adult. However, I think one sign of a great novel for children is that it captivates readers of all ages.

One last thing: as a teacher I like novels that have higher vocabulary. I KNOW the students do not know what the words means and either only get a slight impression of the word through context or simply skip over it and keep reading. However, if children are never exposed to those words, they will NEVER learn them.

I will put this book on my classroom shelf and allow the students to make their own decisions. I'll also post their responses as they give them to me.
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Reading Progress

09/12/2011 page 168
63.0% "I am trying to read as both an adult reader and see it from young adult readers' eyes. I'll let you know in another day or two what the final decision is. So far, I do NOT hate it."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Great review! GT loves that you asked for his opinion, and he is flattered that you mentioned him.


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