And guess what?? I'm giving you some deets on Shannon and her very awesomesaucesome debut MG novel!!! Seriously Alleywalkers, read on...
Title: KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES
Author: Shannon Messenger
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Released: October 2012
Favorite Line/Passage: The whirlpool formed a tunnel of air, dipping and weaving through the dark water like the craziest waterslide ever. She was actually starting to enjoy the ride when she launched out of the vortex onto an enormous sponge. It felt like being licked from head to toe by a pack of kittens--minus the kitten breath--and then the sponge sprang back, leaving her standing on a giant cushion. (Page 73)
Description: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.
Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.
Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.
In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.
COVETED! A MUST READ!!
My Splats: An addictive journey of fun, middle grade flavor, and twists that will keep even the most reluctant MG reader reading!!
The cover reeks (in a good way) of middle grade adventure, swirling in mist from the two characters' expressions to the vintage-looking lamp sprinkling them in light. Just, love LUV this illustration. Kudos to the artist. Here, have some chocolate...seriously.
Sophie is one of the most likable middle grade characters I've ever read. She's wholesome, but real, and holds a sense of adventure just waiting to burst from the pages. But saying that, she also shows a keen aptitude to do what is right and good. Fitz was the same: caring and wanting to do right by Sophie. They're developing relationship is sweet, yet filled with enough spark to give you a chuckle or two or three...
The writing is alive on the page. From a sea scorpion that carriages Sophie around to Fitz teaching her how to travel on a beam of light, this world is the ultimate middle grade playland. It's almost as if Messenger peeked into the head of the average MGer. There were moments, while reading, that I couldn't help but think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Messenger created inventive scenes and stumbling blocks for both characters and story. So creative.
At every turn, the closer Sophie moves to finding her true purpose, her past, and where her future should lead, new obstacles lie in wait. Scenes play out in full view, like sitting in a movie theater. The more I read the more my mind's eye saw and wanted to see more.
Although MG in nature, a few characters have distinct maturity that, I believe, gives this tale a broader audience, appealing to kids and adults alike. Morals such as family values, and the virtue of honesty verses cheating and compassion verses stubbornness thread throughout this book. Initially, I thought the idea of a middle schooler having to come to terms with never seeing her family again by choice would be too heavy for a tween reader. But the more I read and delved into the truth of Messager's message, I realized she was exploring the theme of family and its importance to a middle grader.
Read any good middle grade books? What was your favorite as an MGer?
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