In the Kingdom of Zephram, everyone is magical - everyone except for the Royal Quadruplets: Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell. It's tough to be different, even if you are a prince or a princess. And Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell are treated differently by everyone in the kingdom!But when evil Prince Persius takes over the kingdom, it's the non-magical Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell who are the only ones left to try and save the day. Through their funny and challenging adventures they and those around them come to a better appreciation of the children's skills - and the big difference you can make by being different!(Exciting news for fans of Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell: the second book of The Zephram Tales is here. Read more about their adventures in "The Tale of Time Warp Tuesday.")
The Month of Zephram Mondays – A Great Story with a Great Message to Young People!
Rating: 4.5 of 5
Author: Leslie A Susskind Format: Paperback
Being the sons and daughters of the King of Zephram would seem to have its privileges – that is unless your different. Life for Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell – the young princes and princesses of the kingdom – was a daily challenge because of their difference. You see they are the only citizens in the thousand year history of their kingdom to not have any magical ability at all – nothing – they couldn’t even learn to levitate a piece of paper! Their friends made fun of them and their father would not accept their affliction forcing multiple magical tutors on them in an attempt to train them out of their condition. But what no one realized is that because they could not do magic, they had to learn other ways to manage life – learning to cook and be independent was something they had to do to survive without special gifts. And while it set them apart from the rest of their people, it also might be the one thing that saves them all!
Leslie Susskind’s debut novel The Month of Zephram Mondays is an entertaining book which teaches kids tolerance, acceptance, and that one need not be special or a superhero to in fact be a hero. These lessons are taught in a kid friendly fashion and in subtle ways through the fun and exciting adventures and experiences that the foursome encounter. What I really enjoyed about the book is how the children came to understand for themselves that saving their family and kingdom was something they could do all on their own. They didn’t need an army of helpless and hapless soldiers, they had the skills and the smarts all their own to save the day.
It is rare these days to read an engaging and enduring story for young people that involves the everyday hero and can make kids both escape into a fantasy world yet be able to relate with characters that are very much like themselves – not wizards, vampires, shape shifters, spies, spider people, Olympians, or super geniuses. Just good everyday kids doing what is right. This book is a great addition to the juvenile reader’s (9-12 year olds) library. They will enjoy the fun story, and look forward to the future adventures of these very non-magical but special none-the-less royal quadruplets.
I pre-read this to see if it would be one I would recommend to my kids. I would. It's set in Zephram, a kingdom where flora-ora is the local treasure (it's used for just about everything, including eating!). A golden magic-ball (thus the cover) gives EVERYONE special powers ... except the Royal Quadruplets. The story is very innocent and sweet, even as the "wicked prince" comes into the kingdom and steals the golden ball (thus, robbing everyone of their magic), it is never really scary.
Mondays are basically consecrated to the good of the kingdom ... when the wicked prince takes over, he declares a month of "Zephram Mondays" to go toward a ransom. While this is the title of the book, it actually didn't have that much to do with the story, as the reader follows the four kids on their quest out of the kingdom to find help.
The book wraps up nicely, but also presents the path into the next book ... Timewarp Tuesday (the day is repeating for everyone EXCEPT the Royal Quadruplets ...) This idea has been done (Groundhog Day, Daybreak) but I think it will be interesting to see it from a child's perspective *Ü*
I am going to recommend this too my boys, maybe try reading it to the younger ones. I wish I had kids who LOVED to read, as I'm sure they would really enjoy this.
This is a good read for the 3-6 grade set. The four protagonists (2 boys, 2 girls) are around 10 years old (I don't know that it is said specifically). Set in a simple fantasy, magical world (not too "out there"), still easy for kids to understand.
While EVERYONE is magical, the royal quadruplets are NOT. This is a good message in the book, that even "ordinary" people can do great things. The main characters are all very likable.
When I was younger (teen) I still enjoyed reading books for younger kids (elementary), in fact, my mother would have me pre-read a bunch of books and make recommendations for my younger brothers. Now, as an adult, I do still really enjoy young adult reads, but the easy chapter books don't quite keep my attention. This book took me a while to get through, just because I had other books going that kept me a little more captivated. As I got closer to the end, I found I did want to continue reading to see how it would end.
In addition to reading for myself, I try to pre-read some kids books that I'll then recommend to the kids (or read to them). I've been picking up a TON of free e-books (this was one). This has reverted back to a $2 price tag, but I do think it would be worth a purchase.
This seemed a step above "Magic Tree House" level (in length and complexity). It was a cute fantasy story, easy to read, with humor and action and a good message.
... it's an e-book age now, I think my boys would enjoy discovering digital (although I don't know that the schools are quite there, to allow the kids to read on an ipod touch) *Ü*
I collect children's books. It is something I started with my parents when I was very little and several decades later I'm still reading and collecting them. I've added this one to my library because in the Kingdom of Zephram, where everyone is magical, those who don't have this power, end up having the solutions! It's an entertaining read and a wonderful, memorable story. Enjoy!
While not particularly a book I was interested in or one that I'd give more than a passing glance at if I saw it in the store, my kids and I enjoyed reading this. Very cool story and hope to see more from the author.