Saturday, May 30, 2015

2015 Summer Reading Suggestions ~ Between Two Ends

Today's post is going to be longer as the blog I originally posted this review on is no longer active so I'm just going to pull it over for you. I had so many troubles with that blog I just scratched it and restarted fresh on Classic Children's Books. Isn't that sad? I still have access to it however and will be occasionally pulling reviews from some of my favorite book reviews - these books have become valued members of my book collection.

2015 Summer Reading Suggestions
Between Two Ends

click image for moreBetween Two Ends
by David Ward
Published by Amulet Books
Age 9-12, 304 pages
ISBN: 978-0810997141
$15.26 (hardback)
$14.99 (kindle)

About the book:
When Yeats and his parents visit his grandmother's creepy old house, Yeats reunites a pair of pirate bookends and uncovers the amazing truth: Years ago, Yeat's father traveled into The Arabian Nights with a friend, and the friend, Shari, is still stuck in the tales.

Assisted by the not-always-trustworthy pirates, Yeats must navigate the unfamiliar world of the story of Shaharazad - dodging guards and tigers and the dangerous things that lurk in the margins of the stories - in order to save Shari & bring peace to his family.

My current thoughts & the original review:
Current thoughts are in italics: How many of us can honestly say while reading a particularly GOOD book that it wouldn't be interesting to go into that book and become a part of the story? You take any of the GREAT books like Arabian Nights, Gone with the Wind, Little Women, Mowgli, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and often I find my imagination taking off on me. If only I was a writer - I could fill several hundred stories with the stories my imagination takes off with. 

Between Two Ends has been on my thoughts lately while I tried to decide which books I was going to include in this 4 week series - that is already on week 5 and will also include a week 6 of one of my favorite Middle Grade books to read this summer! I had to dig through both Classic Children's Books (my last kids literacy blog) and Family Literacy & You (my 1st kid's literacy blog) in order to find this review. It was posted over 400 posts ago! Wow!

My original review:
Between Two Ends is the perfect rainy day or summer time book to read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's fast paced, full of adventure and lots of unexpected treats that can only take place in a good book. Kids (and grown ups that never grew up) will have a hard time putting this book down. 

Opening when Yeats (our hero) visits his grandmother's home where many years ago an unfortunate even took place when his father was the same age as Yeats is now. The house is creepy and dark, there is a very old man who waits upstairs, a grand library filled with books & a bookend... when Yeats finds another bookend in the garden encrusted with dirt he cleans it off and takes it inside. From there things start happening....

You will cross a "sea" of books to rescue Shari, a girl Yeats father once knew as a dear friend and left in "The Arabian nights" when he was the same age as Yeats is now. Now it's up to Yeats to save her before it's to late. There is a lot of imagery in this story that helps the reader visualize the scene and draw them closer into the story. Often I felt like I was a part of the story - I mean can you imagine riding a boat over a sea of books? You'd think it would be bumpy but I felt more like I was riding white caps on the sea.

The writing is outstanding, the plot & pace wonderful and just so you know, I am definitely looking forward to the sequel to this book (the author has confirmed there is another one). While reading this book I had to jot down a few questions to ask the author & he was kind enough to answer them for me (and you)....

Questions I asked the author David Ward:

1) How many books do you think is going to be in this series? I'm really hoping it's a series & I'd love to see the series include Peter Pan along with Treasure Island that you mentioned at the end of Between Two Ends.
     A: The sequel has begun! This time as you imagined at the setting of Treasure Island. The prologue (at least in the rough draft stage) begins with Skin and Bones. Peter Pan was one of the books I considered for book one. It is still on the list.

2) I noticed you have written quite a few books - do you have any favorites? 
    A: The Grassland Trilogy is close to my heart - although, I hope that as always, my favorite book must always be the one on which I am currently working.

3) Did you read a lot as a boy and who were your favorite authors? 
    A: My father was a Reverend and we were not allowed to do much on Sundays other than read. We (siblings) read a lot! (Of course, we also played knee hockey, conducted mass battles with toy soldiers and constructed many buildings with the equivilant of Legos). Top favorite authors whom I still cherish: #1 C.S. Lewis, #2 Tolkein, #3 Lloyd Alexander

4) Who inspires your writing now and why? Do they push you to improve the quality of your writing or do you find reading their books gives you ideas for new stories? 
    A: Readers push me the most in terms of inspiration. To receive a letter or email from someone who has sojourned in the same story world is the greatest compliment and source of shared adventure. In terms of authors.... I am good friends with Arthur Slade ( who has been a tremendous support. Fellow playwright Michelle Davis reads all my work before I send it to my agent Scott Treimel who also reads all my work. Favorite authors right now who inspire me: Jeanne DuPrau (City of Ember), L.A. Meyer, Megan Whalen Turner and Ian Lawrence among the many.

Learn more about David Ward on his website HERE. He has written many books and while I haven't read them if they are as well written (which I am sure they are) as Between Two Ends you will be on the edge of your seat as much as I was!

Disclaimer: Much thanks goes to David Ward for writing this book & Amulet books for Young Readers for sponsoring this giveaway! I was given a copy of the book to review & was not paid to give a good review or for advertising space. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing!


  1. I always love the idea of behind trapped inside a story! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention and for sharing it with #KidLitBlogHop!

  2. Hi Katie! You are so welcome. I heard recently from the author & will soon be reading & reviewing another one of his books. I can't wait!!! Thanks for stopping by!!


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