Friday, April 15, 2011
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world. -- Knopf
I debated featuring THE EMERALD ATLAS by John Stephens for this week's Kid Konnection, but I really felt as if I couldn't wait even another day to share my thoughts about this book. This book is fantastic and I think middle graders will just devour it. This story has fantasy, time travel, action, and adventure along with a great cast of characters. It's also exciting, heart-warming, and funny! And as a mom, I loved that there are some nice messages about honesty, devotion and the importance of family. It's all all-around terrific read!
Kids will love all of the fantasy and action/adventure scenes in THE EMERALD ATLAS (and I have to admit I actually enjoyed them too!) When Kate, Michael, and Emma find themselves moved to, yet again, another orphanage, they realize that this time might be a little bit different. They are quickly swept up into a journey to the past where they encounter a very evil woman, some mystical creatures, as well as a magical land. They also learn that the book in their possession holds the power to save people's lives. It's up to Kate, Michael, and Emma to figure out how!
I have to admit that I'm not usually a fan of fantasy -- I always make an exception for the Harry Potter books though because I loved them! However, I found myself drawn into THE EMERALD ATLAS from the very start. To be honest, I think it's because I loved the characters so much. The kids were each very special in their own way (and I'm sure that kids are going to be able to relate to at least one of them!); but I also thought that the adult characters, Gabriel and Dr. Pym, were interesting. Kate, Michael, and Emma had led rather depressing lives -- they had no parents, they grew up in orphanages, they were bullied, etc.; but somehow, they got through and perhaps were even made stronger as a result of the challenges they faced. Whatever the case might be, they certainly were smart and strong and loyal -- and all of these traits served them well in THE EMERALD ATLAS.
THE EMERALD ATLAS is the first book in a planned trilogy and I must say that I am looking forward to the next installment already! I was satisfied with how book one wrapped up; however, I must say that the author also did a great job of setting up book two. There were enough teasers/cliffhangers that I was left anticipating what the future (or should I also say the past?) will hold for Kate Michael, and Emma. If the next two books are anything like THE EMERALD ATLAS, then I'm predicting huge things for this series and Mr. Stephens.
There is a gorgeous website devoted to THE EMERALD ATLAS. I thought the illustrations were terrific and captured the essence of the book perfectly. In addition, you can learn more about the characters and the author, and you can watch a trailer for the book and read an excerpt. You can even download an Emerald Atlas iron-on!
I recently discovered that there is an audiobook available for THE EMERALD ATLAS! It's narrated by Grammy and Tony Award winning narrator Jim Dale (who just happens to be the man behind the 146 voices that appeared in the Harry Potter novels.) I am dying to get this book on audio, and I think it would be perfect for our entire family during our upcoming 20 hour road trip!
I found THE EMERALD ATLAS to be a terrific middle-grade book, and I'm sure is going to appeal to a lot of fantasy and adventure fans!
Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this novel.