Posts Tagged ‘rick riordan’

Rowling, J.K.  (1998).  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  New York, NY: Scholastic.ALA Notable Children’s BookInterest Level: 5-8Reading Level: 5.3Genre: FantasySubjects: Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Wizards, Witches, Schools, England, Fantasy, Friends, Death, Teachers, MagicHarry Potter:1 – The Sorcerer’s Stone2 – The Chamber of Secrets3 – The Prisoner of Azkaban4 – The Goblet of Fire5 – The Order of the Phoenix6 – The Half-Blood Prince7 – The Deathly Hallows

Rowling, J.K. (1998). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York, NY: Scholastic.
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Interest Level: 5-8
Reading Level: 5.3
Genre: Fantasy
Subjects: Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Wizards, Witches, Schools, England, Fantasy, Friends, Death, Teachers, Magic
Harry Potter:
1 – The Sorcerer’s Stone
2 – The Chamber of Secrets
3 – The Prisoner of Azkaban
4 – The Goblet of Fire
5 – The Order of the Phoenix
6 – The Half-Blood Prince
7 – The Deathly Hallows

“Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.” – Ron

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first book in a series about an 11-year-old boy wizard named Harry Potter. His world contains people unaware about magic called Muggles and a hidden society of magic. As an infant, Harry was left with his mother’s sister and her family, Harry grows up not knowing about magic, the world of his parents, and is treated horribly by his relatives. He is teased by his cousin Dudley, called names by his Aunt Petunia, and is forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs by his Uncle Vernon. Yet, all is about to change as Harry receives an invitation on his eleventh birthday to attend Hogwarts, a famous school of magic, and the remainder of the book covers the attendance of his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

From the start of his journey, Harry is continually amazed by the new and unusual things he sees and learns, particularly the fact that he is a natural flying on a broom. Even more, as he continues to meet these magical people, he discovers new friends and family he never had. As part of his new world, Harry has to deal with its evil elements. There are those who hate the non-magical Muggles. One of the most notorious and recent was Lord Voldemort, the wizard who murdered Harry’s parents and tried to kill Harry as an infant. In fact, this led to Harry being famous in the magical world, where he is known as “The Boy who Lived”, and, Lord Voldemort has not been heard of since the murder of Harry’s parents.

During the first school year, Harry Potter is curious about an item being hidden at Hogwarts, the Sorcerer’s Stone. Along with his new best friends, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, they discover the location of the Sorcerer’s Stone with additional hints slipped by the school’s keeper of grounds, Hagrid. It is here that Harry battles an ally of Lord Voldemort, Professor Quirrell and even has a confrontation with the evil wizard himself. Lord Voldemort as everyone anticipated was dead has actually living off of the essence of unicorn blood. And as the first book (first year of school at Hogwarts) concludes, Harry has cemented wonderful relationships with friends and mentors (the headmaster Professor Dumbledore and the head of the Gryffindor House, Professor McGonagall), and is already excited for his second term (book two: The Chamber of Secrets).

The Harry Potter series, beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone contains as much magic capturing the interest of the readers as magic within Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling has created a set of characters that you want to follow on their journey, as you cheer for them, laugh along with them, share in their wonder and magical lessons, and even experience their fright. J.K Rowling created characters in which readers of any age will easily be able to identify with whether they are Muggles or magical folk, and the settings are described in fluid detail that imagining such places comes with ease. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone also created into a film that helped popularize the series even further. Most fans of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone most likely will/have enjoyed reading Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, the newer series The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann, Children of the Red King by Jenny Nimmo, and Books of Beginning by John Stephens.

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unwanteds

McMann, L. (2011). The Unwanteds. New York, NY: Alladin.
Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 5.4
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Subjects: Creative ability, Magic, Brothers, Twins, Fantasy, Social problems, Self-confidence
The Unwanteds:
1 – The Unwanteds
2 – Island of Silene
3 – ?

“The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.” – Kirkus Reviews

Identical twins Alex and Aaron, on their 13th birthday, like all citizens in Quill are sorted into their classes at the annual “purge” as either a Unwanted, Wanted, or Necessary. The Wanteds become politicians who are given an education, the Necessaries live in poverty and are uneducated, and the Unwanteds are artistic individuals like Alex Stowe who was caught drawing in the dirt with a stick. It’s uncommon for twins to be sorted as opposites, but in the case of these two, Alex, an artistic type is deemed an Unwanted, and his brother Aaron, politically focused is a Wanted. Alex, like all the Unwanteds is sent to the “great lake of boiling oil” to meet his death, or so that’s the fate of all the Unwanteds as the citizens of Quill believe it to be. But, rather, the Unwanteds are transported to Artime’, a world created by Mr. Today, a safe haven in which they can nurture their artistic gifts and become magical warriors at a school filled with odd and quirky teachers and strange creatures. Artime’s existence is threatened due the bond Alex has for his brother Aaron, though not mutual, and as war unfolds the battle lines are drawn between creativity and that of strength and intelligence, Quill and Artime’, and brother against brother.

Who would not be excited thinking of a dystopian adventure fantasy in which a society is divided and the worlds in many ways mirror two highly popular books series? Quill the equivalent of Panem in The Hunger Games, and Artime the equivalent of Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Paint brushes used in place of wands and death at a young age not due to killing games set up like a reality TV show but rather sentenced to the Death Farm. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann presents a highly descriptive and imaginative new series that fans of Harry Potter and The Hungers Games will be eager to read. This is a story about acceptance, a lesson worthy of being told for readers of any age. The second book, Island of Silence is as exciting and quickly paced as the first in the series. Other novels that may be similarly enjoyed include Children of the Red King (aka Charlie Bone) series by Jenny Nimmo, Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, Books of Beginning by John Stephens, and The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann.

Scott, M. (2007). The alchemyst. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.
Interest Level: YA
Reading Level: 6.4
Genre: Fantasy
Subjects: Nicholas Flamel, John Dee, Alchemists, Magic, Supernatural, Brothers and sisters, Twins, San Francisco (Calif.), Occult, Paranormal.
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel:
1 – The Alchemyst
2- The Magician
3 – The Sorceress
4 – The Necromancer
5 – The Warlock
6 – The Enchantress

He holds the secret that can end the world

The story begins in The Alchemyst with an attack on a bookstore in San Francisco by Dr. John Dee and there gollums, creatures he created.  They steal the Book of Mage from the store, which was being protected by Nicolas Flamel, the alchemist.  During this battle for the book, Josh, an employee in the store, holds on to the last two pages of the book, which he tears out keeps in his procession.  These pages are critical for the intent of Dee and his employer, the Dark Guardian Morrigan.  During this, Flamel’s wife is taken hostage by Dee and his being held in ransom for those last pages.  Sophie, Josh’s twin sister, is also there when this occurs. Flamel takes the twins to see Scathach, a second generation Elder, for her assistance to rescue Perenelle. They are again attacked by Dee and his gollums, and escape once again. They go to Marin County and see Hektate, an Elder who lives in an alternate realm from the one the twins are familiar with.  Her powers are rooted in a giant tree that she lives in, that is filled with many rooms.  She takes them in, and shows Sophie her aura, the root of her powers.  In the Book of Mage, it is talked about twins, one with gold and one with a silver aura that will have great power and influence on events of the future.  Before she has time to bring Josh’s aura out, her realm is attacked, by Morrigan and her forces, including Dee.  Her tree is destroyed, and with it, she dies.  Flamel, Scathach, and the twins escape, and drive to Ojai, where they go to see the Witch of Endor.  The Witch is one of a few that can awaken Josh’s aura and teach both he and Sophie how to use their powers.  Before that can happen, Dee finds them and awakens all the dead in the area with is necromancer skills.  They go after Flamel and group, but they escape to Paris via a leygate, a means to travel immediately from one location to another.  They escape in time, and leave the Witch to destroy the dead and survive the attack.

Nicolas Flamel, is also known as Nick Fleming, a bookstore owner who, unbeknownst to the student that works for him, is an alchemist and immortal, born in France in 1330.  Flamel is the keeper of the Book of Mage.  His immortality comes from a spell in the book that needs to be done each month to maintain immortality.  Nicolas has become a master alchemist, able to turn metals to gold and other such changes. Perenelle Flamel, Nicolas’ wife, is also immortal, who is captured by the evil forces of the story and held captive.  She has the power to communicate with ghosts and other spirits.  She also has studied more of the magic of the book, and is very adept at those arts. Josh and Sophie, twins that become a part of the story as Josh works for Nick in his bookstore and Sophie works with Perenelle in the coffee shop across the street.  When the first confrontation with the evil forces begins, Josh and Sophie are swept up into the battle and later discover that they may be the twins spoken of in the Book of Mage.

Dr. John Dee, also an immortal, desires the Book of Mage for himself and those he works for.  He can create creatures such as gollums, creatures of mud and slime, and is a practiced necromancer, one that can raise the dead.  Scathach, also known as Scatty is known in mythology as the Warrior Maid, the King Maker, the Daemon Slayer, she is a second generation Elder, a being older than man.  She is asked by Nicolas, to assist in the rescue of his wife, Perenelle. Morrigan, a first generation Dark Elder, very powerful, who has hired Dee to work for her in gaining the Book of Mage, which would allow her to control humankind.  She was once known as the Crow Goddess and the Goddess of Death and Destruction.  She is able to summon birds and flying animals to do her bidding. Hektate: Also a first generation Elder, but not from the Dark side.  She has a kingdom in an alternate realm, in the center of which is a tree that sustains her.  At the start of the day, she is a very young girl; as the day wears on, she ages, until at night, she is an old woman.  Her powers are great and she awakens the magic, the aura, in Sophie but does not have time to do so in Josh, before attacked by Morrigan and Dr. Dee. The Witch of Endor, a witch, living in Ojai, California, who the group goes to for hiding and she provides a gate for them to escape to, to Paris, Nicholas’ birthplace.

This is the first book in the Secrets of Immortal Nicholas Flamel series (The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer, The Warlock, The Enchantress).  It is well written, entrancing and draws the reader in.  After finishing, most readers will immediately want to get the second book of the series due to the first intense cliffhanging conclusion.  And, as the character Perenelle states at the end of the book, “On the contrary, it is now only just beginning.” Those who have read novels by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson & The Olympians or Kane Chronicles), Philip Kerr’s Children of the Lamp series, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series will most likely enjoy this slightly more mature tale as Michael Scott combines modernism with various aspects of mythology and legends throughout the span of time. This is an amazingly enthralling story, filled with mythological gods, vampires, werewolves, and even the elixir of life.  The Alchemyst is a fabulous read, as is the entire Secret of Immortal Nicholas Flamel series.

Riordan, Rick. (2008). The maze of bones. New York, NY: Scholastic.
Genres: Family, Cryptography, Genealogy, Mystery, Detective, Code and Cipher
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 3-6
The 39 Clues Series:
1 – The Maze of Bones
2 – One False Note
3 – The Sword Thief
4 – Beyond the Grave
5 – The Black Circle
6 – In Too Deep
7 – The Viper’s Nest
8 – The Emperor’s Code
9 – Storm Warning
10 – Into the Gauntlet
11 – Vespers Rising

The first clue: “Seek out Richard S___.”

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues, Book 1) by Rick Riordan is an adventurous spy thriller, historically educational, instantly engaging, and even an online game. The Maze of Bones is a fun adventure story that revolves around a historical scavenger hunt of the life of Benjamin Franklin. The 39 Clues book series offers much additional content to allow the reader to feel as if they are a part of the Cahill adventure. Yes, this fun adventure story also offers a game option (www.the39clues.com). Collector cards come with each book in which the reader can register at the 39 Clues website, discover they are a missing member of the Cahill family, and travel deeper into the world of these books. The more you read, the more cards you collect and the greater the clues one will discover.

Orphaned siblings, Amy (14 years old) and Dan (11 years old) Cahill are members of the world’s most powerful family. Some historical members of the Cahill family include Houdini, Napoleon, Benjamin Franklin, and Mozart. The matriarch of the family, Grace Cahill, their grandmother, died immediately after changing her will. Grace’s new will offers her descendants the option to solve the family mystery while experiencing an adventure of a lifetime based off of 39 clues or settle for $1,000,000.

The siblings, Amy and Dan feel as if their grandmother wanted them to participate. As Amy and Dan were viewed as Grace’s favorite grandchildren, obviously, most believe they been given prior knowledge about the clues. But, like everyone else, these two are as clueless as the other members of the family. Teams are formed, alliances are made, betrayal lurks around every corner, and new discoveries about Amy and Dan’s parents and what actually happened to them are as much a mystery as hunting down the location of the next clue. The first clue in The 39 Clues book series revolves around the life and inventions of Benjamin Franklin, another member of the Cahill family. Brilliant Amy solves the clue as she recalls Richard S. as Franklin’s pen name for his the farmer’s guide Poor Richard’s Almanac. As Amy and Dan travel from New York to Paris and finally to the Paris Catacombs (hence the title of book one), they are in a fight for their lives against many unlikable members of the Cahill family as they solve the mysteries that surround each clue. Amy and Dan escape a fire, a bomb, being buried alive, an angry mob, potential poison, physical harm, and many more unexpected disasters all at the hands of their aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The Maze of Bones will leave any reader desperate for more questions, drama, adventure, mystery, and historical fiction. As the second clue is discovered at the end of book one, the reader can assume the next adventure will focus on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in One False Note (The 39 Clues, Book 2). And, most readers will quickly find themselves hooked and eager to read more of  The 39 Clues books. Readers may also like Rick Riordan’s newer series; The Kane Chronicles (The Red PyramidThe Throne of Fire, and The Serpent’s Shadow) that also follows an orphaned character raised by a grandparent, travels the world, and discovers many mysteries of ancient civilizations.