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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

(MMGM) Lost Children of the Far Islands by Emily Raabe {Review & Giveaway}

Be sure to check out the full schedule of this year’s 3rd Annual March MG Madness and enter to win a box of 6 books!

Today I'm sharing my review of Emily Raabe's Lost Children of the Far Islands AND giving away a copy...

Lost Children of the Far Islands
by Emily Raabe
Random House Kids

Twins Gus and Leo and their little sister, Ila, live a quiet life in Maine—until their mother falls ill, and it becomes clear her strength is fading because she is protecting them from a terrible evil.
Soon the children are swept off to a secret island far in the sea, where they discover a hidden grandmother and powers they never knew they had. Like their mother, they are Folk, creatures who can turn between human and animal forms.
Now they must harness their newfound magic for a deeper purpose. The ancient, monstrous King of the Black Lakes will stop at nothing to rise to power, and they are all that stands in his way. Their mother’s life hangs in the balance, and the children must battle this beast to the death—despite a dire prophecy that whoever kills him will die.
Can Gus, Leo, and Ila overcome this villain? Or has he grown too strong to be defeated? Lost Children of the Far Islands is a story filled with magic, excitement, and the dangers and delights of the sea.

Emily Raabe’s Lost Children of the Far Islands is a captivating mix of fascinating lore, fresh fantasy elements, and good ol’ fashion adventure!

Twins, Gus (who is a girl) and Leo, live with their five year old sister Ila (a selective mute), and their parents in Maine. Their’s is a quiet, normal live. That is until their mother falls very sick and strange things start to happen. The three siblings are swept away to a far away island and to a grandmother they never knew. They learn that they, like their mother, are Folk, people able to shape-shift into an animal form. The siblings enjoy their new found power, but a dark monster, the King of the Black Lakes, is out to get them. Gus, Leo, and Ila must learn to harness their abilities, confront the KIng, and save their mother.

Lost Children of the Far Islands is a quietly enchanting story, with three wonderful heroes, lovely fantasy elements, and a fun, exciting story. Raabe weaves a magical tale full of enrapturing and refreshing lore. The Folk premise, steeped in actual myth, is beautifully imaginative and something I haven’t read much about in middle-grade. I loved all the fun shape-shifting abilities and the powers that come with it! Young readers will be captivated by these fantasy elements and soon be spinning their own shape-shifting stories. The isolated far island the siblings end up on makes for an awesome and intriguing setting. I greatly enjoyed exploring this world with the siblings!

Gus, Leo, and little Ila feel and act their ages, which is so refreshing. But, just because they’re young, doesn’t mean they aren’t capable, brave, clever heroes! I love the relationship between these three and how genuine, funny, and real it feels. The King of the Black Lakes makes for an awesomely, spine-tingling villain. Young readers will be just as enamored with the King as they are with the siblings.

Raabe sets her three young characters on a thrilling adventure across land and sea, full of sharks, magical books, kelpies, mermaids, and more! There’s enough exciting fun to keep readers entertained from beginning to end.

My Final Thoughts: Lost Children of the Far Islands is a fantastical new addition in the world of middle-grade fantasy. With an imaginative story, fascinating lore, and endearing characters, young readers will devour this book!


EMILY RAABE grew up in Vermont and now lives in New York City, where she teaches writing. She is a poet and the author of numerous nonfiction books for children. Lost Children of the Far Islands is her first novel.

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Lost Children of the Far Islands!
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Carl Scott said...

I'd want to be some kind of a bird. Preferably one with a long flight range so I could travel long distances. Thanks

Unknown said...

If I could shape shift, I would want to be a bird, like a bald eagle or something like that because I would be protected by the government and I could soar the wind currents to my hearts delights.

Unknown said...

I agree with the comment Carl made above. I would like to be a bird. As a bird, you would have such freedom to fly anywhere, and that is definitely appealing to me. Thanks, this sounds like such an incredible MG fantasy!

Jillyn said...

I'd want to shift into a kitten, so I can be petted, sleep, and eat all day, haha.

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

How come Middle Grade books get such amazing covers?! If I could shapeshift into any (real) animal I would probably either choose a wolf or a King Cheetah.

Unknown said...

I would shift into a manatee because manatees are my favorite animal.

Orchid said...

Obviously, I would choose a dragon. =)

Yay for another MG siblings book. Those have to be some of my favorite books, especially if it has some fantasy elements in it.

anne s. said...

I would become a parrot so I could talk all day!