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Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

(Leven Thumps #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  20,632 ratings  ·  1,678 reviews

Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (a.k.a. "Lev") lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds -- the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it possible for mankind to dream and ho
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Aladdin (first published April 1st 2005)
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Danny Faraday Its young adult fiction but a middle schooler could read it as well.
George And if your library doesn't have it, their inter-library loan program can get it from somewhere else.

(Yes, even books for "young people". I just recei…more
And if your library doesn't have it, their inter-library loan program can get it from somewhere else.

(Yes, even books for "young people". I just received Return to the Willows from ILL.)(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  20,632 ratings  ·  1,678 reviews

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Dec 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
Harry Potter envy. That about sums up this book to me. It felt too much like Obert Skye tried too hard to create something with the same witt and mass appeal that the Potter series has. It made me feel like he wrote the book, not because it came from him, but because he saw an opportunity to write in a genre that was enjoying successes.

His book felt too one dimensional. All adults where bumbling idiots that would have lead humanity to death thousands of years ago for example. It would have help
Mike D.
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A very good, easy read. I loved the characters and the general silliness of the book. A sort of simple writing style by Skye, but I like simple sometimes (like in this case). Obviously meant for a younger crowd, the book should be enjoyable to anyone up until the early teens or any person who is still a kid at heart, like me (even though I'm only 16). ...more
Actually this was pretty weak. I shouldn't have been surprised considering the strange title and the author's rather odd pseudonym. I had avoided reading this for so long based solely on these blemishes. Eventually I got around to it but I must say, based on its level of popularity, I was expecting a little more from this book.

Aside from the cheesy chapter puns on oldies music songs or colloquial proverbs and idioms there were some really awkward parts in this book.

The plot has very little risin
Oh, man. This book was pretty terrible. And I read it all the way to the end on the off-chance that it would stop being terrible, but the terribleness continued. This book has extremely poor character development, a plot that moves more awkwardly than a teenager learning to drive a stick shift, and is riddled with inconsistencies. Also, it just tried way too hard to be cool and failed utterly.

So first, the characters. The main character, of course, is Leven Thumps. Everything interesting about h
Nov 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Ordinary orphan Leven Thumps discovers a small furry sycophant who tells him that he is the only one who can save the dreamland named Foo. This boy from Oklahoma, can even manipulate the future. Also with the help of Winter, a nit, and Geth a talking toothpick, he must make it to the gateway to Foo before the evil Sabine does. Obert Skye tells an original story with humor and tells of why we can dream.

Almost like all books, this book does have some minor problems of it’s own. Skye only merely
May 30, 2009 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book and the series in general. I'll start with the plot. This story line is so good. An alternate world that controls the dreams of man kind is in danger and it is up to the grandson of the creator of the gateway to this place to save it. That would be it in a really small nutshell. It is very good, full of great twists when you don't expect them, great humor, and very good for all ages. So now you thinking, if he likes it that much, why did he give it three sta ...more
Sep 02, 2007 rated it liked it
This is another of a recent batch of young adult novels set in Oklahoma. It's about a boy who can access the gateway between the human world and the world of the human imagination - and who must close that gateway before the evil dude from Foo (world of imagination) gets through to reality and destroys everything.
The cast of characters is interesting (a sycophant, a girl who can freeze anything by thinking about it, a toothpick, shadows...) and the rules that govern foo are also interesting. Th
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to me by a former senior student who said these books were better than Harry Potter and his favorite books in the world, I had to get them. I listened to most of the book on C.D., then finished it in book form because I wanted to see "What happens next?!?"... I found it very engaging. Skye has an enjoyable wit, great ideas, and a very cool concept. The idea is that there is reality (the place in which we live) and Foo, the land of dreams which is also possible to be "sucked" into, gi ...more
Libby Dogherty
Jan 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
I tried to like it, I did. I put off reading it because the title annoys me. Petty, I know. But, the kids got the set for Christmas from gma and gpa...so I decided to give it a try. The first chapter had me annoyed. The writing was...excessive. I don't know how else to put it. It seemed like the author simultaneously put too much thought and not enough thought onto the writing. It's full of cliches, misinformation (do some research, buddy!) and repetitive descriptions. I can't imagine what this ...more
Aug 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
haven't read this book in so long, and completely forgot how much i enjoyed it. i've seen a lot of lower reviews for this, so i wasn't sure if this would be one of those books that i adored when i was younger and grew up to be like "oh, that was trash." nope. still loved it ...more
Feb 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
Super fun and imaginative.

TW fatphobia. I wrap up what I thought about this book in this video.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
The book is about an orphan with some special characteristic that makes him able to occasionally see and manipulate the future. He, of course, is the hero of the book, as any orphan with magical powers must inevitably be. So the premise of the book is immediately weak -- overused literary theme.

And the writing is frankly disappointing. It's rather awkward. Not quite as bad as Eragon, but bad enough that I decided not to finish the book. For me, that's pretty bad. The editing was poor, too, which
Damian Smith
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Leven Thumps is a story about a boy named Leven and he has to stop Sabine from detroying Foo. The main characters are Winter and Leven and they both have to stop Sabine. In my opinion the best part was when Winter and Leven was in the snakes mouth going underground.

Foo is the place where the dreams were made and if Foo falls there will be no hope. The story takes place in two places, one is Foo and the other is in reality.

I think Sabine makes the story interesting because he makes the bad thin
J. Aleksandr Wootton
Feb 24, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: caveat-lector
Really disappointing. Had potential, but went nowhere with it - literally. For most of the book the protagonists wander around their hometown while arguing about what to do. Meanwhile, the magical giant tree gets himself chopped down and processed into a single animate toothpick stick man (the only piece of original tree that his soul stayed attached to, I guess), "Because Fate". The bits with the tree felt like Skye was trying to channel Discworld (with some success - I laughed at least once) w ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What would happen if you were whisked away on a fantastical adventure throughout the globe with a strange cat creature and a girl with silver blonde hair? Well if you are not very creative you can read Leven Thumps and the gateway to Foo. A fourteen year old boy named Leven finds out that he is a part of huge destiny between four heroes to stop mass chaos. After getting bullied for his strange white streak in his hair. The book was enjoyable to me because it was a fast paced fantasy read that I ...more
Jul 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Originally, I thought this book was going to be better than it actually was. First off, I hated how I could find similarities between Harry Potter and Leven. Secondly, I despised how all the adults are either mean and stupid, or they're caring, but they're exploited for being so.
Another thing I don't like is how the author has to make comments or remarks that supposedly are "funny" but it's just idiodic and ruins the run of the story. The author isn't supposed to make commentary on their charact
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Have you ever had a really great dream? Do you ever wonder where those dreams come from?
They come from a place called Foo. Foo is the place that allows mankind to dream, hope and aspire. And if Foo were to collapse, than mankind would not be able to dream. Don't you think it would be just a little strange to not dream anything ever again?

It's up to fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps and thirteen-year-old Winter Frore to stop the mad Sabine from finding the gateway into reality, going through it, ult
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm really not sure how I feel about this, it felt slow and agonizing to read, every time I opened the book and read a few pages I fell asleep. Granted I was sick when I read this, it was really not very good.
I know it was written for younger audiences, but I really like stuff like this usually, but with Leven Thumps I just felt so over it all.
Although I must say that there were a few witty parts thanks solely to Clover, the furry sycophant.
In most stories of the young overcoming harsh and/sa
Aug 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Reading the back and looking at the really neat cover, this book had a lot of potential, but it really fell short. The entire thing came off really forced and self-conscious, and the characters and settings seriously lacked depth, especially all of the adults and other "evil" types, who are basically caricatures with no motivation to be how they are and therefore no realism.

The author seems to have no sense of where the the story is going and appears to be making it up as he goes along. The humo
Sep 30, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this book because my son really liked it. Kudos to the author for an original and very inventive fantasy world. That can be difficult to achieve in the fantasy genre. The author's wacky sense of humor makes for a funny, fast-paced story. Include strange but positive characters who fight for the right against heavy odds, and you have a winner. I especially like the boy and girl main characters who are discovering their potentials and choosing who they want to be. I can see why middle schoo ...more
Jan 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy fantasy books then this book should be a treat for you. A mixture of Harry Potter and Spiderwick, this book is a great joy to read. Filled with interesting characters and fast paced action, you follow a group of characters as they try to save the human race from extinction. From a girl who can freeze people simply by looking at them, to a talking toothpick, you'll be amazed at the funny adventures the author gets them in. If there is a weakness in the book, I'd have to say the main ...more
Oct 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Stupid. There are so many things that I did not like about this book. It dragged. It took FOREVER for anything to happen. It was a complete Harry Potter rip-off. (I mean really. An orphan raised by a mean, fat aunt and uncle, a house-elf creature that does your bidding, the revelation of "who you really are" on your birthday, a wise "wizard" to guide you... It's so blatant.) The writing was horrible. The main character was a spineless, whining wimp. The magical powers were lame. It felt like the ...more
Mailis Viiand
Nov 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
My hopes were i guess too high...Skye is clearly too smart to write childrens books, cause he likes to ramble on and make everything extra extra philosophical and complicated...layers beneath the layers...the coziness was missing for me...i need a happy place in my children's books, like Hogwarts was in Potter series...home base so to speak...that home base is suppose to be Foo, but its too colorful and confusing...it would probably make a decent movie... ...more
Apr 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: family-reading
This is very similar to the Harry Potter stories-- but not as good. My son enjoyed it and he read the 2nd book as well.
I think it was fine-- I probably would have thought it to be great if I hadn't already read the Harry Potter series!
Brittany Deroche
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Awwweee. That's what sums up this book. This just gave me all my childhood feels again! I loved it even though it is a children's book. It reads a little older, the audiobook is so good. I just thoroughly enjoyed this. ...more
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
best book almost! loved it
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I think this book has the funniest first paragraph ever. The rest of the story flows pretty well. It kept me entertained.
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4 1/2 stars for enjoyment!
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-kid
4.5 stars because according to my son "there's nothing wrong with it but it's not the best book I've ever read."

This is really really good though. It's fun and magical. Somewhat akin to the first Harry Potter book and it works really well as a read-aloud to a kid. The characters lend themselves to great voices and Skye writes with a good flowing cadence. There were times when I read a part and then laughed aloud and I rarely laugh aloud while reading. Will definitely be continuing this series.
Richelle Goodrich
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a long time to read this book, mostly because I never quite got hooked on the story. The author used quite a bit of creativity developing his characters, and the ideas behind Foo were interesting, but none of the personalities or relationships were moving enough to grab me. The Gateway to Foo was a fun adventure that might appeal to middle grade readers. Perhaps my hopes were set too high when I started the book; it wasn't what I expected. ...more
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Obert Skye read his first book at age two. He wrote his first story at age four. And he was nearly trampled by a herd of water buffalo at age six. For a short time, he lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where he spent time as a candy-taster. Several years ago, Obert Skye says, he discovered the existence of Foo. Publishing his story as a fictional series was not Obert’s first choice. Neverthel ...more

Other books in the series

Leven Thumps (5 books)
  • Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret (Leven Thumps, #2)
  • Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want (Leven Thumps, #3)
  • Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra (Leven Thumps, #4)
  • Leven Thumps and the Ruins of Alder (Leven Thumps, #5)

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