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Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters

(Momotaro #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Xander Miyamoto would rather do almost anything than listen to his sixth grade teacher, Mr. Stedman, drone on about weather disasters happening around the globe. If Xander could do stuff he's good at instead, like draw comics and create computer programs, and if Lovey would stop harassing him for being half Asian, he might not be counting the minutes until the dismissal be ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion (first published January 1st 2016)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  272 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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T.J. Burns
I was thoroughly entertained throughout this entire book.

I love the story of an unlikely hero – and I can’t imagine a more unlikely hero than Xander (at least in the way he has presented himself to us).

Some of Xander’s shortcomings certainly have their origins in typical pre-teen insecurities, but as he compares himself to his classmates, Xander comes out lacking – in almost every field.

I loved the dynamics between Xander and Peyton. Peyton, the athletic, good-looking, polite best friend is de
Lee Malone
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fast-paced and exciting read that incorporates elements of Japanese folklore within a contemporary fantasy story. I really enjoyed the way the author updated the folk story to feel fresh and new, and I especially liked the main character, Xander, who faced both personal and epic struggles.
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've seen many people compare this book to the 'Percy Jackson' series. This is likely because both series are based on mythology, though the Percy Jackson series uses Greek mythology and Momotaro uses Japanese.

The Percy Jackson series never managed to catch my interest. I liked it well enough but it wasn't something that I would rave about or care if I finished reading. I read the first three books, but dropped the series aft
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
I am a huge fan of Rick Riordan and the publisher Disney-Hyperion, so when I read the blurb of Xander of the Lost Island of Monsters I knew it was a book I had to get my hands on.

Now, I realize that it is not by Rick Riordan, but it has the same idea/concept that he uses in his stories. Xander of the Lost Island of Monsters is a story set in today's world, the main character is a preteen, and the story encompasses Japanese folklore.

Oh, yeah, I am also a huge fan of Japanese culture which is ANOT
Kali Wallace
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Man, I am so glad this book is the first in a series, because after finishing it all I want is a whole pile of adventures with these adorable characters!

This is a delightful, energetic romp into a world of monsters and magic and Japanese folklore. Xander is an ordinary kid (you know, bored at school, bullied by mean kids, mostly likes video games and hanging out with his best friend, etc.) and his normalness makes it all the more satisfying when he's shoved into an adventure of epic proportions
Jakk Makk
Mar 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Faithful Followers of Fashion
Shelves: fantasy, ww, audiobook
Flashback in the first ten?
Snarky teen too cool for school?
Joseph Campbell's Hero Cycle?
This is Disney--do you really need to ask--of course it follows.
Endless list of First World Complaints?
Believe it Mouseketeers.
Did it pull the Star Wars franchise out of the toilet?
Leave your resentments out of this, please.
Sorry, DNF.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first read the synopsis of Xander And The Lost Island Of Monsters, by Margaret Dilloway, I was immediately interested. This very Percy Jackson-esque story centers around Japanese mythology. Having lived in Japan for several years, I was hooked.

While it WAS very much like the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, I really enjoyed this book because it added some wonderful twists to the genre. It had a unique main character, insight into an exotic culture's traditions and stories, and a power
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Xander Miyamoto, and how he discovered he wasn't just a nerdy half-asian middle schooler. As it turns out, he's this generation's Momotaro, a sort of Japanese monster-hunter. Maybe he should have paid more attention to his father's stories about Japanese mythology.

This is an engaging, well-written YA novel that mixes (as the back cover copy states) "Percy Jackson and Hayao Miyazaki." But really, that paints an incomplete picture, because the book really covers a remarkable a
MOMOTARO XANDER AND THE LOST ISLAND OF MONSTERS by Margaret Dilloway is a fantasy about a boy who discovers his legacy and sets off on a journey to find his place in the world.

This first book in a new middle-grade series tells the story of a mixed race eighth-grader with a talent for drawing. Xander’s ordinary life is thrown into chaos when his father disappears. Xander soon finds out that he comes from a long line of Japanese warriors called Momotaro and must discover his talents to save his fr
Margot Harrison
Xander's voice instantly pulled me into this book. First, he's funny. Second, this is the only kind of "chosen one" fantasy I like — the kind where the chosen one is someone no one would ever believe is the chosen one, least of all that someone him/herself. Xander is a convincingly ordinary kid, and Dilloway gives him a compelling arc as he moves from low confidence and self-deprecation toward discovering his hidden potential.

I also loved Xander's loyal friend, Peyton; and their ally of convenie
Claire McNerney
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book definitely had a Percy Jackson feel, and I LOVED IT!!! Xander is your typical middle school kid, struggling with bullies and doodling in his notebooks in class and playing videogames with his best friend and so on. He was just so… relatable that I would read a sentence, say “Me,” read another sentence, and yell “SO RELATABLE!” to my family, who surely thinks that I am insane. It was so well paced, with brilliant twists and turns and all that good stuff. I could not put it down. I reall ...more
Brian Duffy
A few Haiku poems about Xander, the reincarnation of Momotaro, literally translated as, Peach Boy.

Peach boy will protect
us from the monsters today.
Bless momotaro.

The Oni attacked
but momotaro was there.
With his sword he won.

Xander loves gaming
art and computers but he
just learned of his fate.

To cross the unknown
Xander will fight with Peyton
and Clarissa now.

He will be Peach Boy.
He saves the world from demons.
And find his mother.

I chose to do 5 haikus as an alternative book report because it really
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this book free from the publisher. Xander is a geeky, small, half-Japanese, half-White kid from California, into video games and drawing, and not into school. Weird climate events have been going on, but he's not too worried, until he, his friend, his dog, and his grandma are suddenly living at the edge of a massive ocean that has flooded everything. Suddenly he learns he is the Momotaro, and must sail to a realm of demons to save his family and his home. This reads like the author is ...more
C.J. Milbrandt
When strange things begin happening, Xander's father and grandmother are forced to reveal his startling legacy: he's the next Momotaro. Japanese folk lore and dreams of ancestors. Best friends and setting sail. Mixed heritage and a missing mother.

Much is made of Xander's heritage (he's half Japanese), and the story incorporates common words/phrases, traditional clothing, creatures from Japanese folk lore, and (of course) the famous story of Momotaro. Perhaps since I'm no stranger to the culture
Nicole Hewitt
4.5/5 Stars

This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book was absolutely perfect for us because of how excited my son has been about Japanese culture. None of us had ever heard the Japanese folktale that this book is based on—Momotaro (about a Japanese samurai who is found as a boy in a peach!), but we really enjoyed learning the tale right along with Xander and his best friend Peyton. When the book begins, Xander is an average, everyday kid who tends to
Hannah Belyea
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Xander knows that, unlike his best friend Peyton, he's pretty weak, so of course it takes a while before they believe that he's actually a Japanese warrior destined to battle Oni with the help of some mystifying allies - but he'll do anything to get this father back. Dilloway will keep readers entertained with this enjoyably fast-paced adventure full of exciting lore and likable characters. Can Xander find his own gifts in time to survive run-ins with such terrifying enemies?
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Xander & the Lost Island of Monsters was, at least for the first part, a calm and comfortable read. The writing style is such that it invites you to get comfy and curl up with a book. This might not be what the writer was going for, as it’s an adventure story, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. It’s an easy read, aimed at middle-graders, which meant I flew through the pages. When things did finally shift into high gear, I was fully immersed in the story and couldn’t wait to see what happened ...more
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Xander is, as far as he knows, normal. Which is why it comes as such a surprise to him when his father hands him a comic he supposedly drew (but doesn't remember) and tries to explain he's a descendant of the legendary Momotaro, the Peach Boy of Japanese mythology. Momotaro was an artist/warrior, and Xander . . . well, he draws. And he programs. But he's going to have to figure out the rest of it fast, because he's the only one available to stand up against the terrible oni bent on destroying th ...more
Sarah Evans
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: washyarg
Biracial boy discovers his family’s warrior destiny. Twelve-year-old Xander hates school because it is a) boring to his busy brain, b) his teacher seems to hate him, and c) he gets made fun of both for being half-Japanese and that his mother left his family. The only bright spots are his terrific abilities in computer class, his excellent drawing skills, and best friend Peyton. After an exceptionally weird day at school, Xander’s father offers him a previously unseen graphic novel about the Japa ...more
Hanna Gilman
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have to admire the fact that Margaret Dilloway went through such lengths in order to write this book. However, for some reason whenever I think of an opinion for this book, my mind draws a blank, I don't know what to think about this. The idea is good, but nowhere did I ever stop and think about what I was reading, I just plowed right through like I couldn't be done fast enough. Actually it feels like it's taking all the stereotypes in books and thrown together into this, cause the word that c ...more
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Back when I read this in 2015 (I was extremely fortunate to get my hands on an advance proof, because my mom went to this thing, being an English teacher), I showed my friends the copyright as a prank. This book was reminiscent of Percy Jackson, but a bit more modern day. I like how each and every Momotaro has a unique power. A bit different from Rick Riordan's work, but that makes it cooler. Rick Riordan's is amazing, but I like other authors too. Recommended for fans of Percy Jackson and mytho ...more
Jill Cd
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of Rick Riordan's style of writing, then this is your next read. Japanese mythology wrapped up in high adventure and a modern day "geek" is the main character. Can't wait for the next book.
Kelly Drost
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me of Percy Jackson, only more unique. I haven't read a lot of stuff about Japanese folklore and found the monsters in this book fresh and interesting. One of the best children's books I've ever read.
Lois Sepahban
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review to come.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Advanced read copy- good action story. Something was always happening, and there was no point where I wanted to stop reading.
Becky B
Xander thought he was just a below average 6th grader with a tendency to daydream. But then in one day his drawings start coming to life (drawings he has no recollection of doing), a tsunami threatens his mountaintop home, and his grandma sends him off to rescue his dad who has been swept away. Oh, and she also tells him all those Japanese fairy tales he's been told are true, his dad and grandfather were both Momotaros, and now he's supposed to be the next Momotaro. Xander is the least athletic ...more
The Keepers of the Books
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Xander’s father and grandmother have always been very secretive about her family history and Japanese mythology. When Xander’s father gets kidnapped by Oni, Xander finds out that he is descended from the mythological being known as the Peach Man. Each subsequent male member of Miyamoto family is destined to fight the Oni King and prevent him from flooding Earth. Setting off to the Lost Island to save his father, Xander and his friend, Peyton, head across the sea that’s formed in Xander’s yard. A ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidsbooks, library
This is a completely trippy story that kids, especially boys, will devour. Xander is a perfect hero for kids. He's small, weak, and plagued by self-doubt but he's also creative, brave, and loyal. His interests in drawing comics and playing and creating video games will also ring a bell with many kids. Peyton, makes a great best friend, the good looking, popular, strong, funny guy that every misfit wishes would be their ally. I really love the way Xander's family supports and loves him, especiall ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Like most fantasy adventure stories, Xander goes from normal life to a huge, epic fantasy journey. I loved all of the elements of Japanese culture and mythology that were present in it.

I did not enjoy this as an audio book, but I can accept that that is a personal preference for me. I am very picky about audio books. If I don’t like the narrator’s voice, I can’t get into it. Also, I don’t get to enjoy the illustrations if I listen to the book, and this one had beautiful art depicting some of the
Teresa Osgood
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I grew up with the Japanese folk tale of Momotaro, so this book caught my eye right away. What would a modern version be like? Dilloway doesn't disappoint. Xander is an ordinary 6th grader who only cares about video games until a tsunami reaches his mountain home and his father disappears. It turns out that he's a descendant of the original Peach Boy, born to fight the demons who are behind some really sudden changes in the climate. His grandmother believes in Xander, even though he's a total wi ...more
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Award-Winning Books for Preteens and Adults

Margaret started writing stories in kindergarten. Ever since then, she's used writing to understand the world and entertain people.

She loves improv, attempting complicated baking recipes, hiking, and dollhouse miniatures.

-MOMOTARO: XANDER AND THE LOST ISLAND OF MONSTERS: Winner of the American Library Association's Asian/Pacific American Librarian

Other books in the series

Momotaro (2 books)
  • Xander and the Dream Thief (Momotaro, #2)