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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter Beware! This Fantasy Has Educational Value!

Title - Conor and the Crossworlds: Breaking the Barrier
Series - The Crossworlds Series
Author - Kevin Gerard
Author Wesite - http://www.conorandthecrossworlds.comGenre - Kids/Teens Fantasy Adventure
ISBN - 1425991831
Reviewer - The Reading Tub
Journal first published - The Reading Tub
Publisher - Authorhouse
Reviewer's rating - BUY!

Summary: Conor Jameson is 10 years old. He’s confused and angry because his favorite uncle Jake has died. On the night his Uncle was buried, Conor was in bed, crying, trying to understand why his uncle died. He was visited by a mystical beast from the Crossworlds, Purugama, who took him on a series of adventures aimed at explaining life’s choices and consequences. Their journies were exciting, challenging, scary, and informative. Their shared experiences developed a strong bond of gratitude, respect, and friendship. This is book one in an five-part fantasy adventure series.

Big Kid Reaction: This piece of teen fantasy is well done. It is well written and imaginative. There is also some education re civility, moral issues, etc. that make it a bit more meaty than some of the other Harry Potter wanabees.

Pros: The author knows his audience and captures them before the end of the first paragraph. Though its genre is teen fantasy, the authenticity of the plot, the integrity of the characters, and the quality and structure of the narrative set it apart from the typical teen fantasy works.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Fantasy literature is an extraordinarily popular genre among young teens these days. However, most of the works are simply variations on the Harry Potter theme. The author has demonstrated that there are fresh, imaginative, and creative ways to keep the genre interesting. His writing style provides the reader with an enjoyable experience. Not only does this work qualify for a “buy” recommendation, it also serves as a tickler to watch for the sequel.

If You Liked This Book, Try: RAIRARUBIA (The Rairarubia Tales, Book 1) , TOASTER POND , THE JOURNEY (Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Book Two)

Other Reviews: See reader feedback at borders.com. No Critics' Reviews found at bn.com (Barnes & Noble) or borders.com.

Educational Themes: This is essentially the story of mentor and student. Purugama, a mystical cougar, is charged with mentoring ten year old Conor Jameson about life, its challenges, choices, responsibilities and consequences. Each episode provides rich topics for discussion that will engage preteens and teenagers in thoughtful and personal conversation.

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