Monday, January 4, 2010

Dormia by Halpern and Kujaminski - ADVISABLE

Halpern, Jake and Peter Kujawinski. Dormia, 506 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.

Content: G


After learning that he is a descendant of Dormia, a hidden kingdom in the Ural Mountains whose inhabitants possess the ancient power of "wakeful sleeping," Alfonso sets out on a mission to save the kingdom from destruction, discovering secrets that lurk in his own sleep. Traveling with Bilblox, Hill, and a magic-inducing plant, Alfonso has some wonderful adventures fighting off killer plants, competing in a relay race on a pair of decaying ships, sailing across the frozen seas, following a haunted forest path, withstanding winter storms, and entering Dormia. Once there, he must help defeat those who have infiltrated this hidden world and are set on killing the founding tree that keeps them alive. Final pages include selected Dormian hieroglyphs and the national anthem of Dormia.

I found the adventures creative and well written. However, personally, I just didn't find very exciting the possibility of having great abilities that exhibit themselves only when you're sleeping. Alfonso has to go to sleep before he can perform at the level needed to outwit and defeat his opponents. That just seems wrong, somehow.

Reviewed by P.K. Foster, MS teacher-librarian.

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