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Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door

(Josh Anvil #1)

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Librarian Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN-10: 0985388900 / ISBN-13: 9780985388904.

Josh Anvil has powers, though how he got them is a mystery. He can make living things just by talking about them, and of course they get him into all kinds of trouble. Schoolmates harass him, the FBI kidnaps him, and else something is out to kill him. Weaved in YA fantasy with elements
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Paperback, 482 pages
Published June 5th 2016 by Pipe Dream Books (first published March 13th 2012)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  51 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Pearson Moore
Imagination in search of a story

Title: Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door
Author: Bruce E. Arrington
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Length: 100,000 words (estimated)
Reviewer: Pearson Moore
Rating: 2 stars

Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door contains humor, a likeable protagonist, and imaginative scenarios. Roughly 60 percent of the pages of this book portray various celebrations of Josh Anvil's creations, allowed by his early encounter with a small band of aliens. Smiling faces abound, with parties and fun for a
...more
S.J.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Josh Anvil, the 14-year-old Louisianan who is the hero of this middle-school fantasy, is a boy with a serious case of dyslexia and some very special skills. Initially, his skill is in storytelling in a group of his peers (boys only) who meet to compete. After a near fatal accident and mysterious encounter in the swamp near his home, he acquires skills that allow him to create living creatures, even humans. Meanwhile, his father and his best friend Troy’s father are firemen dealing with a number ...more
Gillian Mcclean
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest, nonreciprocal review of a colleague's novel.

This fantasy novel follows the adventures of 14-year-old Josh who, along with the usual trial and tribulations of being a teenager, develops mysterious powers after an encounter with alien beings. The story is set in Louisiana and the author's vivid depictions of various areas clearly reveal his fondness for this part of the country.

We are introduced to a host of characters from Josh's fam
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David Ross
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Free-wheeling teen fantasy

Very much an unfettered middle grades fantasy framed in a soft SF context, in Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door young teen imagination runs wild. Bruce Arrington does an impressive job of writing from and for the perspective of a fourteen year-old Josh Anvil.

The story is set in Louisiana and revolves around the central character, his family, friends and enemies. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that through strange circumstances Josh acquires a set of unusu
...more
Loralee
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Josh Anvil is a likable protagonist who mysteriously gains strange powers and uses those to help his friends, and get out of difficult situations. Because he basically has whatever power he wants when he wants it, there isn't much conflict in the story, no solid story goal, and I would have preferred a bit more detail about how he got his powers. Also, while I believe this is the first book of a series, readers like at least some payoff and wrapping up of a major question or conflict at the end ...more
Jeanette
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, children
Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door by Bruce E. Arrington is a middle-grade, sci-fi adventure set in the Louisiana swamp and surrounds.

Josh is an ordinary fourteen-year old with severe dyslexia. His greatest ambitions are to win the trophy at the storytellers’ club, ditch school, and attract the attention of Kirsten (a hot volley-ball player in his grade). That is, until he has an accident in the swamp and suddenly acquires god-like powers and the complications in his life escalate. In the meantime
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Liberty Schauf
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guest-review
Originally posted on 80booksblog.com

Did you ever play the “What If” game as a kid? You and a friend sitting around letting your imagination run wild, creating worlds and creatures. Inevitably it turns into a storytelling session where you feel like you are in the world you created. It’s an exhilarating feeling.

In Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door you get that same feeling.

Set in a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Josh has to understand his powers very quickly. During a showdown for champion in th
...more
Patricia Hamill
Excellent fantasy for middle schoolers.

I really enjoyed this book and it kept me entertained for nearly a week. Of course, the fact that the main character gets fantastic, nearly limitless powers is a fun element and the way Josh chooses to use his powers makes me wonder what I would do differently if I had powers like that.

The StoryTellers Club, an amusingly formal organization similar to the Toastmasters where members dress up in suits to camp out in one of the kid's back yard for their story
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Larry Rodness
Josh Anvil, a 14 year old boy from Louisiana, goes canoeing one day in the swamps and comes upon aliens who accidentally bestow upon him super powers. Within days Josh is able to materialize dragons, people, islands in the sky, as well as heal the injured and sickly. However it takes his parents to show him how best to use these powers. When the story opens, his home town of Baton Rouge is being ravaged by fires. An arsonist is causing havoc throughout the city and his father and best friend, bo ...more
S.M. Blooding
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a fun book to read!

The first thing I loved was the fantastic imagery. Mr. Arrington is a very visual writer, and that totally clicked with me.

Josh is a completely relatable character. He's real, has real faults, real issues, real...uh, personality quirks, but he deals with all of that in stride. And when he does something stupid (which happens), he handles it with a sense of under-dramatic maturity (for a young teen) that I found refreshing. The secondary characters have lives off the
...more
Erin Munz
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this is not the genre I usually read, I got swept up completely in Josh Anvil's adventures.

As this story of a not-so-ordinary-anymore teen unfolds, Arrington's wonderful description really transports you to all the places that Josh goes: the swamp, East Eagles High, the island that he creates. Because the description is so strong, the story is something that you could easily see playing out on some sort of screen.

I thought the main set of characters in the book -- Josh, his parents, sister
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Jill Swanson-Diaz
Three CHEERS for Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door!
Bruce Arrington has written a splendid debut young adult novel. As I'm sure you all know, I am a huge fan of science fiction; whether it is YA, adult or even MG. This book did not disappoint and I am so glad I got the opportunity to review Josh Anvil! Full of magic, adventure and even a little mystery, this is a fun and charming book, with an outstanding main character. Quite a few things set this story apart from others in it's genre. First and f
...more
Elisa Blaisdell
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Josh Anvil is a great kid. He loves his family, loves animals, loves fishing. He struggles with dyslexia and hates school. Then he becomes a superhero.

There are numerous delightful moments in this book; I especially enjoyed the folk stories and tall tales woven into the text, and they're part of the book's theme, too--you'll see why! I loved the Louisiana setting, especially the cypress marshlands. Overall, the characters are quirky and charming.

Although aimed at an older age bracket, Josh Anvil
...more
Edmond DeRousse
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it


The youth will love reading about Josh Anvil's adventures.
Although I don't belong to Josh's age bracket, his adventures never fail to remind me of my youth. From ordinary day to day activities with his family, friends, and school, anyone can relate to Josh. Of course, not everyone can conjure dragons and spiders, and heal people who are on the verge of death, but we all yearn for some magic in our lives. And those who have brilliant imaginations will be able to live a magical life.

This is the t
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Robert Brown
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a former fourteen-year-old boy (almost sixty years ago) and as a former child/adolescent psychologist (almost thirty years ago), Bruce Arrington’s Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door has my unofficial seal of approval. The story is about fourteen-year-old Josh and his mysterious power to create living things, such as dragons, a giant lumberjack and an organic roller coaster. Mysterious evil forces also abound, keeping the pace smashing from one adventure to another.

The story keeps the reader’s i
...more
Jeremy Jones
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes being omnipotent kinda stinks


Josh Anvil is your typical American teenager until something happens. He ventures out on his canoe trying to figure out how to tell his family that he's leaving school but, after he is found unconsious, he suddenly realizes that he has the power to alter the nature of reality just by making up the story. But even though he can conjure dragons, a floating island paradise and a housekeeping staff for his parents, he must contend with all the trials and tribul
...more
K.J. Simmill
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Josh just wanted to go fishing with his dad and quit school. One day, he ventures across the swamp intending to go to town, but something about his familiar resting place was different. For a moment he had feared himself lost, but all the markers indicated this was the place, and yet at the same time, it wasn't. That day marked the beginning of change. Josh had always loved telling stories, it was not only a much loved family tradition, but a hobby for him as well. Something strange has happened ...more
Jordan Frost
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Josh Anvil is a teenage boy just trying to get through life until he mysteriously obtains some extraordinary abilities. While these abilities allow him to create wonderous things, they oftentimes bring about their own set of problems, including a dragon he speaks into existence during English class. Some people around him are impressed, while others are frightened. It’s a heavy burden for any teenager, but especially for a boy who isn’t exactly popular. Josh goes through the normal pains and tro ...more
Stacie
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door, by Bruce E. Arrington, is a middle-grade fantasy adventure filled with magic and fun. It’s also the story of a young dyslexic teen as he struggles to build and understand relationships with friends, family - and navigates high school. In other words, this is a story that will resonate with young readers and the daily issues they are facing, and it will also allow them to enter into a world with magic - and dragons!

As a fan and writer of fantasy, I was more than
...more
Kat
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this MG fantasy, Josh starts off living a pretty ordinary life in Louisiana. Fishing. Cicadas. Days with his cat. I loved the vivid descriptions. You can really taste the swamp air, see cat hair tangled in fishing line, and picture the charred pancakes in the kitchen. Ah, sisters. I really liked the portrayal of dyslexia, and some of the real stressors a boy Josh’s age might go through, like having a firefighter father burned as an arsonist plagues the area. Josh suddenly finds he has strange ...more
Lynn Worton
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a fantastic science fiction/fantasy story! I loved it!

Josh Anvil is a fantastic character. Unfortunately, he doesn't see himself the same way. He has low self-esteem, which is caused by his dyslexia and being bullied at school. He is also an excellent story teller! I liked him very much.

This is wonderful and exciting read for young teens. I was completely swept away by the tale! It has two of my favourite thing
...more
Marc Secchia
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grades
Josh Anvil is a typical teenager until a not-so-typical encounter with aliens gifts him with superpowers. Cue a roller-coaster ride of a story as Josh is yanked out of his typical school life into unwanted limelight.

What worked in this story is that for me, the author succeeds in getting inside the mind of a 14-year old protagonist and making him totally believable. His actions are authentic, and sometimes frustrating and illogical to the adult reader - but hey, that's not quite the target audie
...more
Ellen Wilson
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Josh. Not only does he possess special powers, but no one seems to understand him. He is classified as having a learning disorder. Already I like him. I like characters who have problems and are less than perfect. Also he likes to fish. Nice to see a kid who is stuck on something other than a computer.
Josh's powers provide him with an opportunity to mess with our three dimensional reality. Who doesn't want to do that? It gives readers an opportunity to imagine what that what would be like.
...more
Joe DeRouen
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read for young adults and grown-ups alike! The first in a series aimed at middle-schoolers, Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door is reminiscent of the Percy Jackson stories and tells the tale of dyslexic fourteen-year-old Josh who receives super powers from aliens he meeting while canoeing in a swamp in Louisiana. I won't describe the powers for fear of spoilers, but I will say that it's a very imaginative super power that the author pulls off deftly. The story is exciting, the bad guys are ver ...more
Sinjin Sanchez
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Josh Anvil is a great read for teenagers around 14. I’m 14 but it can keep the attention of readers even 11 to 18 .It keeps your interest throughout the whole book and his little twists that add to the subplots. Josh Anvil is an average kid in high school but it’s never been easy for him, he has dyslexia. When hes out in his cypress tree swamp finds what looks like aliens. He takes a closer look and falls out of his boat. He hits head drowns and his dying. One willing alien saves him but there a ...more
Ben Haskett
Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door is a fun and imaginative story that ultimately overstays its welcome with too much stuff.

While you won't find a single bad idea in here --(view spoiler)-- it feels like 10 pounds of plot in a 5-pound bag.

The biggest issue I had with Cypress Door, though (aside from the lack of a real antagonis
...more
Thomas O.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
After an accident, high school freshman Josh Anvil finds that he has mysteriously acquired god-like powers. He can create living creatures just by talking about them, and he can heal sick people with his touch. Life will never be the same for Josh as he attempts to navigate high school life with his new-found powers.

There are two major areas where this book fails. The first is that it needs to be trimmed down considerably – it goes in depth about things that don’t really matter. We learn all ab
...more
Donnally Miller
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Early in this book Josh Anvil acquires the power to create out of thin air any living thing he can imagine, as well as the power to heal any sickness or injury. The people around him accept this, showing only some mild surprise, and expect Josh to carry on as a reasonably normal high school kid. At this point, I realized it would not be enough just to suspend my sense of disbelief, it would be necessary to hang it by the neck till it was dead. Having accomplished this, I was amused by the sillin ...more
S.D.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the inventiveness of this Middle Grade fantasy novel set in modern times. Josh Anvil is a fourteen-year-old boy who has dyslexia but has the gift of story telling. It's a fun hobby that turns a little frightening (in a good way) when his stories transform fiction into reality. He only has to speak it and it happens. Of course at first, he doesn't even realize he's responsible for the strange things going on in his small town in Louisiana. Soon he has other powers, too. All of th ...more
S.D.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the inventiveness of this Middle Grade fantasy novel set in modern times. Josh Anvil is a fourteen-year-old boy who has dyslexia but has the gift of story telling. It's a fun hobby that turns a little frightening (in a good way) when his stories transform fiction into reality. He only has to speak it and it happens. Of course at first, he doesn't even realize he's responsible for the strange things going on in his small town in Louisiana. Soon he has other powers, too. All of th ...more
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Bruce takes your average, everyday characters and upends their lives through unusual and powerful circumstances. He authored the teen Josh Anvil series, the Fallen Powers series and shorter stories.
Visit online at www.pipedreambooks.com and
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PipeDreamBooks/

Other books in the series

Josh Anvil (4 books)
  • Josh Anvil and the Pivotal Weapon (Josh Anvil, #2)
  • Josh Anvil and the Gathering Storm (Josh Anvil, #3)
  • Josh Anvil and the Indomitable Power (Josh Anvil, #4)