One of the joys of raising kids who read is that, eventually, they'll start recommending books to you! Which is what happened with this book. My kids read it, and the two sequels, and laughed sooooo hard over them. They began to quote them constantly. A couple of weeks ago, my son said to me, "Maybe you should just read the first book, Mom. Then you'd know what we're talking about." I think he was surprised when I said, "Okay!" You should have seen how ridiculously pleased all three of them were whenever they'd see me reading this book. They'd ask me what part I was at, and if I'd met such-and-such a character yet, and so on. It was pretty adorable.
This book is really funny. It has unexpected, quirky humor, which is my favorite kind. Too many books for kids this age rely on potty humor or rudeness to be funny, but this has genuine, clever humor to it. It made me laugh aloud too!
It's all about a couple of orphan girls who go on a Quest thanks to a magic gauntlet one of them gets stuck on their hand. With the aid of a somewhat inept young wizard and an unpredictable instructor, they set off to find out where they belong and fulfill their Quest before time runs out. They encounter everything from a giant robot to wolves made of sand on the way, and have a series of more or less successful escapes, thanks in part to a magical book that sometimes tells them what they need to know.
Particularly Good Bits:
The man smiled the smile of someone who didn't much care for smiling, felt smiling generally to be a nuisance, and whose facial muscles were so out of practice they seemed to have forgotten most of the required movements (p. 84).
"An archaeologist tried to kill us," said Hiro.
Jocelyn nodded. "They can get like that sometimes" (p. 229).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for adventurous peril and lots of dangerous situations, including fending off zombie sharks. No bad language.