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Author: Monk and Nigel Ashland

Illustrator: Nigel Ashland

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Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It has been several generations since the Trinary wars all but destroyed civilization on planet Earth. Today, wild beasts control the forests and Meks, demonic machines, control underground caves. Two groups of humans remains: one group lives in an Air Balloon City that floats above China; the second group survives underground in Las Vegas. Provocative incidents suggest that another war is coming. When Mei Long's mother is kidnapped, her father sends her to the Sky Village, where she discovers the secrets of her mother's Tree Book. In Las Vegas, the Meks have kidnapped Rom's sister Riley. In trying to help their families, Mei and Kei discover they have special powers. Powers that make them both pivotal to restoring peace on earth. Will they be able to do it? The odds are not in their favor. This book launches this 5-title fantasy series set in a place both familiar yet alien.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 14

Interest Level: 10 to 14

Reading Level: 4.1

Age of Child: Read by a student at Denbigh High School (Newport News, VA) as part of our Use Your ABCs program. Also read by the Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Denbigh: I picked this book because it was something different. I don't usually read fantasy fiction stories. After the first chapter I wanted to know what was going to happen next. What I liked about this book is that it has two people from different parts of the world who have to team up to find someone else close to them. I learned that trust is something needed dearly in your life. If you are into fantasy fiction books, this is a good book. It will keep you guessing on what will happen next. I would buy this book.
BTSYA: Kaimira has a mixture of fantasy, adventure, and thriller scenes that is filled with action and scenery. The Ashland brothers’ collaboration clearly showed on the pages; the chapters are intense and easy to picture in a reader’s mind. The characterization is excellent, for the Mei and Rom show their growth as characters, and it is clear that they will continue to grow in the next few seques. The flow of the plot is very natural, although a younger reader may get confused due to the constant switch of narrator from chapter to chapter. The overall style of the book is very similar to the bestseller Fablehaven series. The recommended age group would be from ages 7 to 14, with regard to its content and the difficulty.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fantasy that will appeal to pre-teens and teens alike. This is the first of five books in this series. As the project moves forward an effort should be made to make the transitions between plots and sub-plots cleaner.

Pros: This is a creative and imaginative story. It is fast paced and engages the reader from the first paragraph.

Cons: This is a story that could be enhanced with graphics to help the reader get to know the characters.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a fun recreational read,which has the potential to get middle-school students reading. It would also make a good beach book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: GALAHAD 1: THE COMET'S CURSE   TOASTER POND   RAIRARUBIA (The Rairarubia Tales, Book 1)

Educational Themes: The book is an adventure/fantasy novel. It will have its strongest appeal to the 12—14 year old age group, who will likely enjoy the book. The teacher/librarian can use it to encourage students to read.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.1

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, science fiction, adventure, young adult series, multicultural

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008, July 2010

Other Reviews:


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