Posts tagged ‘middle grade and young adult fiction’

TRIP THROUGH TIME

Time Taxi: Book One: Back to Your Beginning

Written by Bruce Boyce

Illustrated by Daniel Demirdjian

Timetaxi,pic

Jack and Jill (they hate their names) are bored twins on summer vacation who live in the suburbs. They are tired of reading, watching TV, playing video games and texting friends. When Jill gets a weird message on her cell phone with a picture of a taxi on Jack’s screen and an invitation to take a taxi ride, they are mystified. After a phone call to their dad who confirms that he knows about the taxi, they follow the yellow brick path down the road where the yellow taxi marked Timeless awaits them.

The driver named Numan, who is a cloud shape-shifter, explains that they are going to take a trip through time using a wormhole as a short cut. Here the twins will meet their ancestors and experience what life was like on earth before life was human. First stop is more than three billion years in the past when the moon was three times bigger and life consisted of slimy green forms on rocks. Their next stop takes them inside a small primitive fish named Astraspis diserata. Jack experiences life as an Ichthostega, a life form that has made the transition to land having both gills and lungs. Their journey proceeds through the evolution cycle to Dimetrodon and the ancestors of the dinosaurs. Then they arrive in the dinosaur age just before the meteor hits the earth destroying most of the planet. As they continue forward, Jack and Jill meet their mammal ancestors, Australopithecus, Homo erectus and the wild wolves that were tamed and taught men how to hunt for food. Now men could hunt for meat and their brain size increased dramatically allowing them to become superior. When the children and the taxi arrive home at last, they find an unexpected surprise on their doorstep.

This book is a fantastic way to teach evolution and history, while allowing students to experience a fantasy adventure at the same time. The reader can imagine herself inside these creatures as the twins go on their riding adventures. They probably won’t realize how much knowledge they are absorbing. Middle grade students should find the reading level comfortable, and the colorful illustrations are an added bonus. Highly recommended for teachers and librarians to add to their bookshelves. Lovers of fantasy, history, time travel and adventure ages eight and above should not miss this one!

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CAPTIVATING CATS

Coming Home (the journey of two special cats)

Written by Jane Ayres

Coming Home cover

This short novella is targeted for pre teens and teens, but cat-loving adults will enjoy it just as much. Ayres has written many books about ponies and horses; in this particular book she displays a unique talent in having the ability to make the reader experience the story through the cat’s eyes. Sky and Max are two beautiful sibling cats who are abandoned and found by Kira. She pleads with her parents to adopt them. They agree reluctantly. Soon after Kira’s parents are divorced, she and her mother Joy are about to move to the seacoast.

Tragedy strikes when the cats are trapped in a garage overnight. Kira pleads with her mom but the moving van is ready to leave. She urges her neighbors to contact her if they see her beloved cats. One mishap after another befalls Kira and the cats. Kira goes searching for them; she is robbed and left abandoned overnight at a train station. The cats search the old neighborhood frantically. They find temporary shelter with a homeless man and a good Samaritan named Gabrielle who unknowingly aids Kira get back home. Kira and the cats keep missing each other until an automobile accident and trip to the vet allows Sky to be traced by microchip. But Sky is crestfallen without her Max and both of them are now on the verge of death. Will the feline siblings ever be reunited? Does Kira ever get her life in her new home back on track?

The author writes from the heart and gives from the heart. All the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to a charity for cats. I read the entire book in a couple of hours. Simply could not put it down until I found out what fate had in store for the devoted and compassionate Kira and her stalwart pets. A heartwarming read that teaches persistence and compassion.

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