Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

BOOK OF THE DAY-2012 full list

The full 2012 book list is here! 74 pages of ideas for all seasons, holydays, memorials, vacations, book clubs, school, and reading fun! Start the new year with new adventures in reading!’s mascot Awesome Blossom passed away August 13, 2012.

Christmas & Hanukah December Book List

Our final book list of the year has a little of everything: Holiday feasts cookbook, Hanukah & Christmas children’s books, Advent meditations for adults, Our Lady of Guadalupe, books in English and Spanish, and lots of historical fiction!


Our November book list is focused on “things eternal”. From All Saints Day, to All Souls Day, to Veterans day, Thanksgiving holiday, and Advent preparation, the list takes a more meditative theme. However, plenty of fun reading for kids of all ages is included too!

BOOK OF THE DAY-10-October

October is the month of All Hallows Eve, Halloween.’s list of books takes the horrible out of horror!


Ahh, no matter where you are in the country, kids are back to school either in traditional or home classrooms. Our list this month includes books to help children emotionally adjust as well as reading list literature.


Homeschoolers and classroom teachers are preparing to return to teaching. Our August book list has classics and teaching guides for all ages.


Hot summer fun, lazy reading days, Independence day and more are covered in the July booklist recommendations.

Prince Andy and the Misfits: Shadow Man 

Gammons, Karen. (2011). Prince Andy and the Misfits: Shadow Man. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing. ISBN 10-9781616636197. recommends 14+, appropriate for younger advanced readers.

Publisher’s description: Andy thought he was just an average sixteen-year-old kid… But one day his world is completely turned upside down as he learns the unbelievable truth of his identity: he is the prince of a faraway kingdom called Filligrim in the Valley of the Misfits a magical place where pixies, elves, wizards, and dragons are just as likely to be inhabitants as humans. He was brought to this world following his birth the only way to keep him from being murdered by his evil malicious grandfather. Sounding more like a fairytale than reality, Andy at first thinks he must be dreaming. But then his aunt Gladdy reveals even more astonishing news: his mother, the Queen of the Misfits, is in trouble; she’s been captured by goblins, and it’s up to Andy to rescue her. Still in shock, he makes a decision that will forever alter life as he’s known it. He will return to Filligrim and, with the help of six heroic Misfits, will embark on a mission to save the kingdom from the clutches of evil. In Prince Andy and the Misfits: Shadow Man, Andy encounters one adventure after another as he works to uncover a traitor, rescue the queen from goblins, retrieve a stone of immense power, and solve the mystery surrounding the Shadow Man the sinister mastermind behind it all. And perhaps most importantly, he must ultimately discover if he has the heart to become a true prince.

 Our thoughts:

 Land of the free, home of the brave. Now nearly forgotten, these words from our national anthem once were as commonly used as any slang today. And thanks to our free market economy, we aren’t compelled to only read shallow tales mass-produced by a few publishing moguls. We now have many independent authors who are quite good. Which brings us to Prince Andy and the Misfits, another “good ol’ fashioned” story of chivalry, honor, and a dash of romance.

 The story’s main character is a popular 16-year old, so this makes the book likeable and of interest to older readers, especially reluctant ones. However, the story line isn’t about high school and so its content is appropriate for all ages.

 This doesn’t mean the action scenes are lame by any means. Early on, Elsfur beheads three knockers with his sword! However, in the style of the best of classic literature, our author goes beyond gore, distinguishing for readers a “just” battle. Authority and hierarchy are realistically portrayed, as is clear leadership. The characters experience life lessons that are easily applicable to our own real lives too. And after all, traditionally that was a purpose to good children’s literature :>)

 As we follow the misfits in search of the missing Queen Noor, unexpected alliances surface. Perhaps those folks we thought to be the enemy aren’t that bad after all. And with a traitor in the group, not all of the misfits are “good guys” either.  Winning the battle doesn’t mean the war is over, and we are left with a cliffhanger leading straight to Book 2 of the series.

 If your reader (or you!) like fantasy but found series such as The Lord of the Rings a bit too complex, put a copy of this book under their nose instead :>) From beginning to end, the characters exemplify virtues while also being imperfect and likeable…just like us. Younger advanced readers will enjoy this as well reluctant readers. Speaking equally to boys and girls alike, it makes for a great family book club selection too! See our review against character education criteria for more details at .

 EXTRA: Purchase the hardcopy of the book, and it provides instructions to download a free audio version too! In addition to benefitting the entire family listening together, or entertaining on car trips, it is also an excellent teaching tool too, helping both advanced and struggling readers.

See review at!

The Myths of Dymos: Power of Vedion. Glenn, David. (2010). The Myths of Dymos: Power of Vedion. Tate Publishing. ISBN-10: 1616632577. Litland recommends age 10-14 but content appropriate for all ages. 

Publisher’s description: Time is always moving. Eras rise and fall. Creatures appear and vanish. Civilizations are born, then crumble. But what never dies off is hope for life… For young Josun, life in Thrystinove is peaceful and happy–despite frequent visits from his abrasive aunt and his abusive cousins. However, when a Great Lizard appears close to the village, Josun’s way of life is threatened. In this first installment of The Myths of Dymos, an ancient order of knights–mortal enemies of Josun’s people–has found its way into Josun’s world and will stop at nothing to destroy the land of Bylouth. To save his home and all that he cares about, Josun must find an artifact that could be the key to the safety of his people. Along the way, he adds many interesting people and creatures to his band of traveling companions. Throughout the quest, Josun must learn about courage, honor, friendship, love, and hope in order to master the Power of Vedion.

 Beginning in England in the year 530 A.D., the characters and their challenge are introduced: non-believers of magic are close to eliminating it permanently. The only answer: escape to a new, unknown world: Dymos. 

Fast forward, then, to the year 2005 A.D., and the Magic Bane’s knights have found a way to cross over from the old world into Dymos, still bent on destroying all magic. Our hero, Josun, steps up to the challenge to save their world as they know it. While traveling along the route to Myriad Mountains, our full band of heroes form. From literary favorites of fairy tales and fantasy, we have ogres, trolls, dwarves, elves, fairies, nymphs, unicorns, centaurs, and magical swords. Added to the mix, however, are the creatures invented for this series that are visions of real dinosaurs. The Great Lizard, which causes the disruption to begin with, is the Greek meaning to the real dinosaur name megalosaurus. The author has incorporated about 3 dozen dinosaur-ish creatures into the store. The mix of known and unknown certainly provide colorful characters to which boys and girls alike will be drawn.  And while there is a traditional medieval romance between the hero and the princess, don’t worry boys…the story is all adventure! 

Glenn has nicely woven together a diverse cast of characters with description of place and events such that the reader can easily put themselves into the story. If the thought of reading a Tolkein-like epic seems overwhelming, or you just dabble in fantasy and don’t want to immerse yourself into heaving reading, then this story is for you. Showing rather than telling, the author gives us the right amount of detail at a consistent, quick pace so the story never drags. This also might be of interest to reluctant readers or younger, gifted readers starting to read above their age group (but not yet interested in reading books as thick as a stack of bibles!). 

Classroom and homeschool teachers can use this to bring imagination to their unit on paleontology and tie in literature through fantasy and myth. While content is appropriate for all ages, wording may be difficult for younger readers. However, a classroom teacher should feel comfortable reading it to their class or having it available for students with higher reading levels. 

The Myths of Dymos would also serve family book clubs or reading nights as it is an attractive storyline for all ages. Very young family members can be encouraged to read their own dinosaur tale and see if they can guess which dinosaur lives in Dymos. Can they find a  Near Lizard or Great Horn in their book? What dino in their book does not live in Dymos? What Dymos name would they give it? Children of all ages can be encouraged to interpret the story by drawing their own visions of the characters or scenes. They also can be encouraged to create their own radio broadcast: simply purchase an inexpensive microphone for your computer   and download a free program such as Audacity  .

See more of our ideas for parents and teachers on the website Parents and Teachers pages.

 Final word: an enjoyable, well written story that will be liked by both boys and girls, content appropriate for the entire family with reading difficulty geared towards middle school readers. Have fun with it!