Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kid Konnection: Magickeepers - The Pyramid of Souls

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a (hopefully) regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today I'm going to review the second book in the Magickeepers series -- THE PYRAMID OF SOULS.

Summary: It was stolen from Alexander the Great. To keep it safe, Edgar Allen Poe bargained away his sanity. And somebody suckered P. T. Barnum to get their hands on it. It’s the most closely guarded secret in the magician community. And it’s missing.

What would you do to protect your family from an ancient pyramid capable of stealing your very soul?

Nick Rostov finally has the life he’s always dreamed—and he’ll do anything to protect it.

Nick has only now discovered he is part of an extended Russian family of magicians: the Magickeepers. He lives with his eccentric new relatives at the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where they perform daring feats of magic to a packed house. Real magic.

But Nick and his family face a new danger in the form of a stolen relic, the Pyramid of Souls. The tiny pyramid has traded hands many times throughout history. Its power can steal a magician’s very soul.

Nick knows who took it: Rasputin, leader of the Shadowkeepers. Using his unique ability as a Gazer—one who can see into the past—Nick enlists his cousin Isabella to help him find it. Soon, the two are hot on the evil sorcerer’s trail…until Isabella’s soul is trapped by the very relic they’re trying to find.

Nick will do anything to rescue Isabella and recover the Pyramid of Souls. But will it be enough to save his family? -- Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Last May, I was so happy to discover a new series that I thought was perfect for middle graders. The book was called THE ETERNAL HOURGLASS by Erica Kirov, and I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of adventure, magic, ,mystery, suspense, and surprisingly enough -- history. I knew I was hooked on The Magickeepers series from the get-go so I was very excited to learn that the second book in the series is now available. It's called MAGICKEEPERS: THE PYRAMID OF SOULS, and I thought it picked right up where the last one left off!

I can't rave enough about how appealing this series is for middle graders -- both boys and girls. There really is a little something for everyone. Nick is just a fabulous and likable hero character that will appeal to boys, and his cousin Isabella is cute and spunky which will definitely draw female readers. Isabella also has the magical ability to talk with animals so children who like stories with creatures will also be drawn to these books.

But what I think is so special about these books is how creative they are. Of course, most kids absolutely love fantasy and magic (that's evident by the huge success of Harry Potter and The Lightning Thief), but there is also loads of action and mystery. Enough to keep kids turning the pages in my opinion. I'm pretty sure these stories will keep even the most reluctant readers reading!

This book does have the traditional story of good versus evil, but it also has some elements of mystery and suspense. There were a few twists and turns along the way that will surprise the reader, and the tension definitely builds toward the end when Nick has to save his family. While there are some action and adventure scenes in this book; ultimately, Nick uses his brain to battle the bad guys. He is such a great (and selfless) hero!

One thing that I absolutely love about these books is that the author incorporates some history lessons into these stories. She does it in such a creative way that children won't even know they are learning about famous historical figures. In THE PYRAMID OF SOULS, the reader learns about Edgar Allan Poe and his famous poem The Raven, as well as P.T. Barnum and Alexander the Great. I loved how she linked these famous people -- I told you these books were creative! My hope is that kids will read these books and want to learn more about these characters.

As was the case in the first book, this book ends with a lot of open-ended storylines. I'm sure the intent is that there will be a third book in The Magickeepers series; and I, for one, am really looking forward to reading it. I can't wait to see what's next for Nick and Isabella as they battle the Shadowkeepers.

I really like this series and I think tweens will too. I highly recommend The Magickeepers books for anyone who enjoys magic, adventure and mystery stories -- but I do suggest starting with book one.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

That does sound like a book that will appeal to both boys and girls, which makes it great in my book!

Unknown said...

Julie, once again, you're adding some wonderful books to my son's summer reading list! Thanks for the great review, I can't wait to pick these books up!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I added my post from today to Mr. Linky. It is a post on a book for Middle Graders called "Money Hungry." This book won quite a few awards, and is about a girl and her mom who live in the projects.

Brimful Curiosities said...

Sounds like another great fantasy series to keep in mind for my kids when they get a little bigger.