Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review: The Land of Stories Part 2. An addendum is required.

An addendum post is a bit necessary after reading the end of the fifth Land of Stories: The Author's Odyssey. 

The fifth book is much darker than the other four. 

**SPOILER ALERT** The masked man, who actually turns out to be the uncle of the main characters, is a dark, dark villain. In this book, he plans to drain the blood of his own child whom he never knew to acquire the magic he lost. One of the main characters is forced to collect the supplies for the transfusion, and the child accepts his fate with courage. And, what happens to the masked man? He is dragged beneath the grave of his dead lover, the mother of the child who was to provide the magical blood. Her animated corpse arose for a chat with other wronged women of history at the same time that the masked man entered the scene. 

While the boy is saved and all ends fairly well, this scene was a bit too intense for my youngest, and my older two children actually recommended that I not read the end of this book because they did not like it. There are one or two characters that are also a bit to dark for my younger ones, and the prevalence of dark magic really begins to show in books 4 and 5. 

Are my kiddos begging for the sixth book? Yes. And, I will likely get it for them and discuss the characters and their motivations. Would I recommend reading the series to a child younger than 8? I would definitely stop at book 3 on this one.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: The Land of Stories

Last night, my son asked if he could read to me...for the first time, ever. He is 8, and of all the books he could have chosen, he picked this one. He read to me for 30 minutes, only stopping when it was 9 p.m. Then, he took his lantern and continued to read until I took the book and the lantern late into the night.

I absolutely love this series by Chris Colfer. As a homeschooling mom, keeping my children in books is a constant challenge. I want them to read things that interest them, that will improve their vocabulary, and that will introduce them to characters who become their friends and heroes. This book has all that in it. My three oldest children, 7, 8 and 10, have all read this series, and I read the first one to them aloud. If you have not raised your children in fairy tales (we definitely did), there is also a book of the stories in the traditional version by Chris Colfer so you know the stories that the books are based upon.

The most serious romance element are crushes, and the children experience intense emotions as they deal with the death of their father and grandmother, but those tragedies become part of the greater adventure at hand. They emphasize creativity, the power of story, bravery and the hero's journey in an exciting way.

While these books aren't in the same league as the Chronicles of Narnia and the Odyssey, they are an exciting read that you can hand your kids without any qualms about what they might pick up. And, I will be forever grateful that these books were my son's transition from early readers to true novels.

Happy reading!