Dec
17
2011

Book Review The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

 

Hi!  StorySnoops is back again with another wonderful selection for middle grade readers.  This time, it’s one from the fantasy genre.

 

Here is the story:

 

After being whisked away from their parents’ loving arms one unforgettable Christmas Eve, siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma have spent the past ten years being shuttled from one orphanage to the next. Not even sure of their own last name, the one thing they do know for certain is that their parents will be back for them some day. But what they are about to discover is that they are the subject of a magical prophecy, making them very special children indeed. Soon the three siblings are transported back in time, courtesy of the Emerald Atlas–one of three enchanted books with the power to change history. There, they embark upon an extraordinary adventure filled with evil villains, terrifying creatures, and surprising supporters. Can Kate, Michael, and Emma harness the power of the atlas and right the wrongs of the past?

 

Here is the scoop:

The Emerald Atlas is a thoroughly enjoyable read for adventure-loving tweens. Filled with magic, action, and humor, the story features an endearing cast of characters, particularly siblings Kate (14), Michael (12), and Emma (11). Each of these children has been indelibly affected by the absence of their parents: Emma is fiercely protective of her younger siblings; Michael writes absolutely everything down so that he will never lose anything ever again; and Emma is a sassy fighter, willing to take on anything or anyone. The relationship between the three is loving but realistic and they do encounter some supportive adults along their journey. It turns out that they were taken away from their parents to protect them from a magical prophecy. The story does involve some violence but the context is pure fantasy. A diabolical witch captures children and threatens their lives to inspire their parents to help find the atlas. It is implied that she uses scary creatures and wolves to hunt and kill those who disobey her, but there are no descriptive details. Language is extremely mild (the word “h-ll” is used two or three times). The Emerald Atlas would make an excellent classroom or family read-aloud, and is sure to capture the imagination of younger and older readers alike. It ends with just enough loose ends to make fans eager for the next installment in the series.

 

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