Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Middle Grade Summer Reading List Suggestions

For the next few weeks I will be sharing some older reviews of books that easily became my favorites. These reviews were on an old Children's Review blog that I no longer run - but still own. So, I am re-sharing them here on GivingNSharing to help you find some GREAT books for your kiddos to read this summer.

Book #1 in my Must Read List is....

The Luckless Prince
by Rie Sheridan Rose
ISBN: 978-1612710143
$16.20 (paperback)
$6.99 (kindle)

About the book:
"Do I have a choice, Mendana? He is my brother - maybe not by blood, but my brother just the same. And I swore to his father on my honor I would protect him." ~ by Steavil, pg 170

From the time he is found wandering the forest as a 5 year old, Stefan has been the constant companion of Prince Roland, heir to the throne of Irthlan. So, when Roland decides it's time he saw more of his future kingdom, Stefan isn't about to let him go alone. It's the moment Roland's ambitious cousin Norfulk has been waiting for, and the adventure becomes an exercise in life-threatening danger. Stefan is determined to keep his friend & prince safe, but in the process he discovers a secret that will change his life.

My thoughts:
(my original review:) The Luckless Prince is the story of Steavil found in the woods by a King, brought back to the palace as a playmate and eventually as a squire to his son Roland. A boy who has spent his life not knowing who he is, protecting the prince from his scrapes, acting as a "conscious" to the prince and saving his life and giving up the ability to walk with ease and grace when the king's own dogs attack them after Roland loses his temper and throws a spear in their direction.

This book is very well written, full of action, adventure and even a love story or two. I would say it's for older teens and adults due to the love story (but no love "scenes"), language (not a ton) and the battles. There are no graphic scenes so depending on your kid's maturity I can see teens 16 and older reading it. I loved it (LOTR's & Progeny fan that I am).

The world of Steavil and Roland is very reminisent of LOTR's. The Elves are dying off and the world of men believe they have vanished. Rie has created a wonderful "Elvish" language even as brief as it is within the book and the poetry and music is beautifully written. Roland's kingdom is in danger of being taken over by his cousin, Norfulk, a madman and wizard who ultimately wants Roland and his father dead and the world of the Elves destroyed and to be placed as "King" of both Kingdoms.

My thoughts NOW (4 years later):
The Luckless Prince is one of those books that get under your skin. At $16.20 it's a little expensive (it's 356 pages long!) but it's also one of those books that your kids will read again and again. The story 4 years later is still in my head and honestly I'd love to read more Stefan & Roland adventures. The characters are easy to connect with and the story draws you in with all the different story lines and the surprise twist of who Norfulk is and the thought of who he could of been if certain things had never occurred & he had not let jealousy.... well, I won't say anymore about that.

This would be a great book for your kids to read this summer on a rainy day - or read it as a family in the evenings or on road trips. I'm going to change my suggested reading age to 13-14. The "love" story is clean & yes there are a few "words" but personally I found I could skip over them and not change the story one iota. The words are not said in anger but more frustration, the kids in the book are not disrespectful or kids you wouldn't want your own kids to be around - I love this book and it is one of the few of the last 5 years of reviewing that has stayed on my bookshelf. 

I'd love to see this book become a kid's movie - I'd be buying it for myself because I'm finding I'm a big kid at heart. =D 

You can read an excerpt from the book (here) and if you would like to order it would you please consider ordering on my amazon page (here) - Thanks so much!

You can learn more about the author HERE.


Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Regardless I only recommend products or services I have personally read or used & think my readers will enjoy. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing.

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