Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)” as Want to Read:
Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Jaguar Stones #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,365 ratings  ·  217 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.
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,365 ratings  ·  217 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Briar's Reviews
As of June 14, 2020, I have never received the copy of this book that I won via Goodreads First Reads. I am making a note here to keep track of what ones I was unable to read due to it being lost/unreceived.
Jack Branch
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Middle world is about a young teen named Max Murphy. He starts off his epic journey in Boston, as whiny and short tempered boy. He lives in a wealthy house and lives a relatively normal life, until his parents leave on an archaeology trip to the Maya temple of Ixchel. Max ends up traveling to Villa Isabella, his uncle's house, and there Max learns about the jaguar stones. One night he goes into the jungle and ends up going through a lot of Mayan temples with a girl named Lola. He battles both an ...more
Joseph Kruppa
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Middleworld by J&P Voelkel is an okay book. This book is about a boy named Max the son of archoelogists who study the Ancient Maya. Zia, the housekeeper, bought a plane ticket for him to go to San Xavier where his parents are. This is where he finds out his parents went missing and is on a journey to find out what happened to them. I think that it gets more exciting as the book goes on.

I disliked the beginning of the book because it didn't show any suspense and was boring. Also, all Max
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2010
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
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
Dana Fontaine
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Aug 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Petty
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, mg
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!
Courtney Burns
No Young Adult book should take me almost 2 weeks to read. I found this one obnoxious (mostly Max) and predictable.
Liana A
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
great book, nice and intense, can't wait to read the second one. The ending to the first is really bothering me.
Lisa Gauler
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I work as a teaching assistant in a UK primary school and my Year 5 class read Middleworld during English lessons. The children really enjoyed the story! Here are some of their reviews.

Max Murphy, who lives in Boston, flies to San Xavier and his world turns upside down on a quest to save the world from Tzelek.
The highlight of the story is when they all pull together and it is like a fun history lesson with loads of facts I didn’t know. I loved it where Max was being tricked by the gods of misch
Laina SpareTime
Cross-posted from my blog where there's more information on where I got my copy and everything.

(Rounded from 2.5)

I liked the adventurous toned of this one, and the lush, wonderful setting, but I had problems with it, too. I have five pages of review notes, guys. I love the idea of this. I love the idea of having more books about things like the Mayan people. I actually mentioned this to a friend while I was reading it, and she mentioned she'd seen it looking up the newest Percy Jackson book, an
Elizabeth R.
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
(the actual story ends on page 362)

I'd give it a 3.5 .... higher points for originality and effort, weighted down by a sense of trying too hard to think like a spoiled gamer kid. I read a good bit of YA lit, and have generally escaped having that be a distraction. So I'd be interested in an actual young person's take.

Max the Boston suburban teen gets yanked from his cozy pizza-and-gaming life when his archaeologist parents (glamorous mom, nerdy dad) go missing in Central America. We meet a lot o
Andrew Hampson
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Middleworld" by Jon Voelkel is the first book of the series "The Jaguar Stones." It is about Max Murphy's adventure through both an ancient and modern world, though most only know the latter. During the book, Max meets Lola; a Mayan native. She was raised in Mayan culture, though her parentage is still a mystery. Throughout the book, Max and Lola travel together and figure out both the past and the future. For what has happened before will happen again.
Personally, this book was a good book. M
Fainne J. Firmin
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
This book didn't wow me, but neither did it disappoint. I'm all for books exploring more mythologies than just "Europe", but this book didn't quite bring it to life OR explain the intricies of Maya mythology. It didn't do it a disserve, either, mind you.

My only thing is the character - personality wise, he might have been okay. In other ways . . . I could personally be okay with the ethnicity thing, because he generally has the "same background" as me, and really, he shouldn't. Making him a spoi
Cherie Nef
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I never warmed up to this book. The characters are flat and some of them totally change in a chapter or two. People behave in odd ways that don't make sense. The actual words that the author chooses to use are weird and clunky. And by the way, why does the author despise granola bars?

Not for the school library because there are so many other books that are better than this one.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
It was a light fun young adult adventure about a young teen boy that teams up with a Mayan girl and her monkey friends and a couple of Mayan Gods that are is search of the young mans parents who disappeared during a archeology dig.
There were some funny parts and it kept my interest for the most part but not enough to continue the series.
good Luck to the Authors of this series
Shelly Ellingson
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked how the plot was based on Mayan mythology, but it didn't make sense that the ancient Mayans knew English. It wasn't really explained. Max didn't really do anything hero worthy. I think it would have been a better book with Lola as the main character. ...more
Mauie (The Traveling Reader)
This review first appeared on my blog: The Traveling Reader reads Middleworld

This is how you do adventures featuring popular legends or folktales. Lots of action, danger and adventure at every turn, and characters who seem to have been lit on fire because they’re just raring for you to get to the next pages.

Max is the son of famed archeologists who went missing on a dig in San Xavier, a fictional country in Central America, while hot on the trail of the infamous Mayan jaguar stones. By some
Kim Ledford
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the prose and premise, but hard to follow.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was awesome! Filled with adventure, comedy, lovable characters, and even history. It was hard to put it down!
Aziz Güzsoy
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epic story. Two children and a monkey from the past and her mother are trying to save the world. Worth reading.
Omari Goins
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Max has changed
Morton Public Library
mythological fiction; seeking lost parents; action-packed; suspenseful (appeal terms from NoveList)
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this story!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Other editions 1 1 Apr 13, 2020 10:20AM  
What's the Name o...: Kids find a Mayan world inside pyramid [s] 15 28 Jul 22, 2013 07:14PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Diary of a Waitress: The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Harvey Girl
  • Olivia Twist
  • Sunrise Over Fallujah
  • Midnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, #1)
  • The Candy Shop War (The Candy Shop War, #1)
  • Hermes: Tales of the Trickster (Olympians, #10)
  • Hephaistos: God of Fire (Olympians, #11)
  • House of Robots (House of Robots #1)
  • Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy (The Children of the Red King, #3)
  • Ninety Percent Mental: The Hidden Game of Baseball
  • Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (The Children of the Red King, #2)
  • Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors (The Children of the Red King, #4)
  • Charlie Bone and the Hidden King (The Children of the Red King, #5)
  • Skill: 40 Principles that Surgeons, Athletes, and Other Elite Performers Use to Achieve Mastery
  • Level 13 (Slacker, #2)
  • Loki's Wolves (The Blackwell Pages, #1)
  • The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had
  • The Company We Keep
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Jaguar Stones (4 books)
  • The End of the World Club (Jaguar Stones, #2)
  • The River of No Return (Jaguar Stones, #3)
  • The Lost City (Jaguar Stones #4)

News & Interviews

  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
14 likes · 7 comments