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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beware of the White: The Concord Chronicles by Kai Strand



Kai Strand’s new middle grade novel, Beware of the White, is the first in her new series, The Concord Chronicles. It features Terra, a twelve year old, about to embark on a new, very exciting chapter in her life, when she is awakened in the middle of the night by an elf-like creature. Hermie is her “Introguide” and takes her to the “Underworld, a world under our own. Terra is a new Natures Spirit from the “Outerworld” come to receive her training, like her mother, Flora, before her.

This is an engaging story from the beginning. We marvel along with Terra at the many new beings she encounters, the strange modes of transportation, and the different colored sectors of the underground city. It is wonderful and captivating. All this would be exciting enough, but it is also a very dangerous place for Terra. She is named in a prophecy and is being hunted by the Trepidus or death tribe. Blanco, the ruthless leader of the Trepidus, fears Terra will thwart his plans to take over the Underworld. He sends “Bringers” after Terra -- Trepidus whose smile is fatal. Now Terra must be protected, trained, and go on a quest.

Terra doesn’t have to face this threat alone. Her protector is Frank, a Security Spirit, and she is trained by several other Underworld beings. Terra needs all the help she can get to discover her talents, finish her training, figure out the prophecy, and develop a strategy to defeat Blanco and the Trepidus, or lose the whole Underworld. Although this is a lot for a twelve year old, Terra rises to the challenge.

This is a classic story of good versus evil, coupled with a coming-of-age quest. Terra has so much to learn about herself, her powers, the new world, dealing with so many emotions, and difficult situations. Terra is special, but feels she’s not so great. She’s easy for other ‘tweens to relate to, since they are also learning about themselves and how they fit in to their own changing world. What twelve year old wouldn’t want to have special talents and powers to save the world? There are also relationships to build, coming to terms with life and death, and normal every day activities that contrast with the strange new world where Terra has the central role.

This promises to be an exciting middle grade series, with strange creatures, difficult tasks, and new ways of teaching and learning. There will be new adventures, characters, twists, and turns to entertain us. Kai Strand has created a fantasy world that offers so much that is different and yet populates it with beings that we can appreciate, relate to, and understand. I am very much looking forward to the next Concord Chronicles adventure.
 

Published by  Muse It Up Publishing: 
https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/

10 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds like Kai has another great book. Thanks Penny,I enjoyed your review.

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    1. Thanks, Sue, it's a really good story. Kai has created a multi-level, multi-sensory fantasy world for us to enjoy. The 'Tween set will really enjoy it.

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  2. Thank you, Penelope for the wonderful review. I really appreciate the time you devoted to reading and reviewing my new book.!

    Thanks for stopping by to read the review, Susan!

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    1. Hi Kai, this is just the kind of book that need to be written for 'tweens. It's exciting, carries you along, touches on all things important to developing one's sense of self and finding one's place in the world. Keep it up! I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

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    2. Oh, you're welcome kai, when I feel better I'll also do a review for you. Best wishes with your new baby.

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  3. Kai, very dramatic cover art. Congrats mate, on an intriguing book for mid-graders. I added Penny's REVIEW to my Kid's Reviews on Pinterest.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfinke.com

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    1. Hi Margot, thanks for pinning my review and mentioning the cover art. I forgot to comment on it, and I agree with you that it is really super for this book. This is a great read for mid-graders -- like your books are! Thanks for your support.

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    2. Oh my gosh, Margot! Thanks for commenting on the cover art. I was beyond thrilled when I first saw it. It really POPs. Thanks for your amazing support, too.

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  4. I will remember this the next time someone is looking for a fantasy middle-grade. BTW, one of my critique group members is with Muse It Up and she loves them!

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    1. Hi Margo, thanks for commenting. This will certainly hold their interest. Kai has created a multi-level fantasy that really draws you in. Great start of a new Mid-grade fantasy series.

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