What an excellently captivating middle-grade novel. Steve Westover draws you in from the start. Tied into the fantasy is a wonderful mystery involving kids who have to figure out what happened to their parents, find them, and figure out how to rescue them. There is a lot of mythology surrounding Crater Lake and Wizard Island intricately intertwined throughout the story. That, and the vivid descriptions of Crater Lake led me to search out the actual images for the real-life lake. The accuracy and brilliant descriptions make for such a creative story.
Battle for Wizard Island is book one of the Crater Lake series. I already can't wait until the next one comes out - I want to know what happens next!!
Beyond the obvious fantasy elements present in the story, the characters - specifically the 5 kids - are very believable. Their actions, emotions, and responses are so realistic - from the typical brother/sister arguing, to peer pressure, and competitiveness. The author has truly woven into the tale a fantasy that includes modern day kids dealing facing a huge adventure / mystery.
You have to check this one out - and do share it with all teens and tweens in your life. It would also make for a fun read-aloud to younger children/students.