Saturday, July 23, 2011
The Six Crowns-New Fantasy Series for Younger Readers
Those of you that have been around Literate Lives know that I'm not a big fantasy guy. Since moving into the library 4 years ago I've read more fantasy than in my entire life. I'm always happy when I find one that I like because I know it will be accessible to kids who aren't fantasy lovers either. The Six Crowns: Trundle's Quest by Allan Jones with illustrations by Gary Chalk, looks like it will be a great addition not only for introducing kids to fantasy, but also for lower grade readers.
The series is called The Six Crowns which refers to the Badgers' Crowns, crystal, iron, flaming fire, ice, wood and carved stone, which were lost when the explosion occurred and the badger lands were broken into "space islands." Trundle is a simple little hedgehog, the lamplighter for his community a job that has passed down generation to generation in his family. He's happy with his life in Port Shiverstones where they grow cabbage. He looks forward to going home each night to a cup of cabbage tea, a bowl of cabbage soup, a warm fire and a good book. All of this is interrupted when he answers the door and finds Esmeralda, a Roamany Hedgehog.
The Roamany hedgehogs are known to possess magic and Esmeralda has used her magic to look into the future. What she sees is her being accompanied by a lamplighter to find the Six Badger Crowns. Trundle doesn't really see himself in the role of a hero on a quest, but when Esmeralda reveals that she is being chased by the Pirate Hogs led by Captain Grizzletusk, he is forced into action.
What follows is an exciting escape to another "space island" sailing on wind ships. They are captured and let go and captured and escape. They fight of pirates and slave masters and unscrupulous pub owners. They break windows to steal a sward, meet a minstrel squirrel and discover one of the six crowns. All of it adds up to a fun, suspenseful, can't put it down story that is told in 151 pages, the perfect length in my opinion. I'll be sharing this book with all of my kids and recommending to some good 2nd grade readers and everyone in grades 3rd through 5th.
Sacremento Book Review