Saturday, November 11, 2006

Landon Snow


First, congratulations to Valerie who won a copy of Real Women Scrap in my drawing last week.

Now on to this week's Blog Tour for R.K. Mortenson.

I confess I came to this book planning to like it. Author Randy Mortenson had graciously helped me out with some research on the Navy chaplaincy for one of my works-in-progress, and after we chatted, I suspected I'd enjoy his new book, Landon Snow and the Island of Arcanum.

I was delighted to discover I was right.

His similes were fun. "They had all converged here for seemingly no reason and bumped into each other, bouncing away to different doorways like billiard balls retreating to their pockets."

I enjoyed his imaginative transition from "real world" to "fantasy world" as a library flooded with water and a statue of a boat became a boat.

I also liked the symbol of the book that literally steered the ship. Bridget's line "I don't think we should ever close the book" spoke on several levels, along with the powerful line, "Who would have guessed a single book could move the whole world?"

Since this was my first Landon Snow book, when the children met characters from past stories, I felt a little like a spouse at my husband's office parties--trying to keep track of names and wishing I knew more about them. But for the most part, I had no trouble jumping in to the story with this third book.

Friends of mine with middle-school children are often searching for books that will interest their young readers and stir a creative spark. They particularly have trouble finding books for their sons. This series is one I'll be happy to recommend.

What are some of your favorite imaginative-world middle-school books? Madeleine L'Engle continues to be at the top of my list with A Wrinkle in Time and her other books. C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia are, of course, a classic. I also recommend George MacDonald's shortstory collections like The Light Princess (C.S. Lewis was influenced by MacDonald's work, if I'm remembering correctly).

Please post a few of your favorite children's fantasy books in the comment section!

Feel free to hop around the cyber-world and visit other sites that will be discussing Landon Snow this week. Other Blogs participating in our tour include:

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Gene Curtis
Chris Deanne
April Erwin
Janey DeMeo
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Karen and at Karen’s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
John Otte
Cheryl Russel
Hannah Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Chris Walley
Daniel I. Weaver

Sharon Hinck
The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House 6/2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House 2/2007)
The Restorer (NavPress 5/2007)


Valerie Comer said...

Thanks so much for the book--I'm sure it will arrive soon!

As far as kids' fantasy books go, I'd recommend Jonathan Rogers' series beginning with The Bark of the Bog Owl. Also written *for* boys (trying to remember if there's any female characters at all in the first one) and it is a hilarious read.

R. K. Mortenson said...

Thanks, Sharon, for reading the book and commenting on it. I agree with Valerie re: Jonathan Rogers' Wilderking trilogy. Good stuff! Of course I love Narnia, and The Hobbit. Alice in Wonderland was an influence particularly on Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle (I pitched it to the editor as Alice meets the Book of Ecclesiastes.) The City of Ember is good. Boy...I'm drawing a blank here. There are many others!

Karen Hancock said...

Hi Sharon!

I'd recommend Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, The High King. Several of these are Newbery Award winners and Alexander dedicates the last volume to "The boys who might have been Taran and the girls who will always be Eilonwy." My son loved them. So did I!