Thursday, December 31, 2009

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

“Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds—the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, to aspire and imagine.

But Foo is in chaos, and three transplants from that dreamworld have been sent to retrieve Leven, who alone has the power to save Foo. Enter Clover, a wise-cracking fuzzy, foot-high sidekick; Winter, a girl with a spectacular gift of her own; and Geth, the exiled but rightful ruler of Foo. Their mission: to convince Leven Thumps that he has the power to save Foo and help him reach the hidden gateway and destroy it before it is too late.

Will belief overcome doubt? Can Leven even find the gateway in time? Will fate make up the difference? Or will Sabine and his dark shadows find the gateway first, escape Foo into reality, and destroy the hope of all mankind?

Go with Leven Thumps and his unique band of travelers on their fantastic voyage to a magical place that no longer can be hidden. Welcome to Foo!”

I need to thank three people for bringing this book to my attention...First, thank you to QUINCY who has read the Leven Thumps series and Obert Skye’s book Pillage. Skye is Quincy’s favorite author, and I first heard about these books from Quincy. Secondly, thank you to SANTA who brought my daughter Tessa the first book in the Leven Thumps series, Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. Seeing Tessa halfway through the book a day after Christmas, I asked her to tell me about it. She even read me some of her favorite passages. So thank you, TESSA, for getting me interested in the writing of Obert Skye and nudging me to read “The Beginning” which started my journey to Foo!

I enjoyed the journey of Leven Thumps (‘Lev’). It certainly reminded me of Harry Potter...Leven is akin to Harry. Both boys have a difficult family life, growing up with guardians who are certainly not kind in any way. Both boys seems to have a destiny that is well beyond their imagination. Both boys get help from a small creature...Harry has Dobby and Leven has Clover. Remember the dementors in Harry Potter? Well, there are shadows of Sabine in this adventure. And Sabine might be just as dark and evil as You-Know-Who.

Even though I thought a lot of Harry Potter while reading this adventure, I enjoyed most of my time with Leven. I enjoyed Winter, a girl who has had a rough upbringing of her own. I enjoyed the many fantastical adventures of Leven. I am not quite sure I bought the character of Geth, however. I mean, a toothpick? That can walk and talk? But I suppose that was exactly what Leven was thinking as well.

Overall, a non-stop adventure taking me back to those Harry Potter days. I do think I will continue the adventure of Leven. I would like to see what Obert Skye has in store for Lev, Winter, Clover, and Geth in Foo.

(For more information on this series, visit

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Molly McGinty and Duane Homer Leech

Today I have one book for the girls and one book for the boys…BOTH books by Gary Paulsen!

First, the GIRLS...


-Molly lost her Notebook.
-Her Notebook that Contained Everything She Needed to Live.
-Including her homework.
-Learned her wacky grandma Irene was coming to spend the day at school with her.
-Got a black eye.
-Was late to class.

And it’s only nine a.m. Could things get any worse? You bet!”

In Molly McGinty Has A Really Good Day, Molly is in seventh grade. She is super organized with a multi-pocketed three-ring binder that she carries everywhere. That binder is now lost, and Molly has to face a day at school without it. To make matters worse, her wacky grandma is coming to school with her in observance of Senior Citizen’s Day. Grandma Irene is one eccentric lady who takes charge in every situation.

Has anyone ever read a picture book called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Gary Paulsen’s book about Molly reminds me of Alexander...nothing can go right! What a terrible day Molly has at Our Lady of Mercy Middle School.

This book is a fun read with even a touch of romance thrown in to boot. I enjoyed reading the quotes at the beginning of each chapter that came from Molly’s notebook. My favorite quote, however, was from Irene: “Misery is optional.”

Will Molly survive the day? Will Molly find her notebook? If Molly has such a bad day, why is the book titled Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day? Will Molly learn anything along the way?

Now for the BOYS…

I found this book tucked in among all the other Paulsen titles at the Worch Library. Even though this book was published in 2006, it was the first time I had ever seen it. Wow.

The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech) is one boy’s look at puberty. Oh my! Duane is twelve years and one week old, and he is convinced that it (puberty) is going to destroy him.

Through a short journal, Duane shares his awkward experiences with puberty—from cowlicks to clumsiness to zits. Parts of his story will make you laugh out loud while others will make you cringe.

While writing about his own changes, Duane is also observing and writing about a newborn bird in a nest outside his window. Somehow as Duane sees the bird undergoing its own growth and independence, he makes a connection to his own predicament.

(Oh, by the way...I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the ending of this book! LOUD APPLAUSE for Gary Paulsen for the conclusion!)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!