Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Jaguars Stones, Book 1: Middleworld by J & P Voelkel-ADVISABLE

Middleworld (The Jaguar Stones, Book One)Voelkel, J & P The Jaguar Stones, Book 1: Middleworld, 415 pgs. Egmont USA, 2010. $8.99 (paperback). Language-G, Violence-PG; Sexual Content-G.  Max is a fourteen-year boy, whose best talent is playing video games.  His parents are archaeologists who research the Maya culture and artifacts.  When they go off to do a dig in San Xavier but Max doesn't hear from them for over a week, Max's housekeeper sends him to San Xavier and says that his parents need him to save them.  But he will need the help of a local Maya girl, named Lola, if he is to succeed.  When I first started reading this book, I could not help but compare it to Riordan's books because the similarities are unmistakeable (ancient gods from different cultures).  At first I did not think I was going to like Middleworld because I felt the characters were too extreme and the plot not as good as in Riordan's books.   But after several pages, I found that I would rather read than go to bed.  Maybe it is because my expectations lowered as I went along, but I think it is because the book got better.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the end because the supposedly surprising plot twist was too obvious for my liking.  Still, I plan on reading the other books to find out what happens.  I think kids will like the story and, just like with Riordan's books, they can also learn a lot about the gods and experiences of another culture.  EL, Middle School – ADVISABLE.  Brent Smith, Reading Teacher.

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