Friday, June 1, 2012

MIDDLEWORLD by Jon and Pamela Voelkel

Voekel, Jon, Pamela Voelkel. Middleworld. EgmontUSA, 2010. ISBN-13: 9781606840719. $8.99.

Special Feature: Review by an elementary school student.

I looked through bookshelves and ran my fingers along various bindings, when something caught my eye. The title read Middleworld, by J & P Voekel.

From the moment I saw it till the moment I began it, I knew I wouldn’t let it out of my sight. With all the unexpected journeys and unidentified characters, I was mesmerized, but more than anything it was the mystery of the Maya that attracted me to Middleworld. The two main characters, Max the video game expert and Monkey Girl (aka Lola), come from two opposite worlds; it was an exciting voyage to see how they reacted to each other’s different lifestyles. I liked Lola the most. She’s daring and brave, loves the jungle, and is thankful for everything she has (not including Max). I relate to Lola because I love Norway as much as she loves the jungle. The jungle is her birthplace and home like Norway is mine.

The book is mostly about how the Maya culture is literally coming back from the past. This is both good and bad. One of the important events is when the ancient Maya King, Lord 6-Dog, and his mother, Lady Coco, possess the bodies of two howler monkeys, which results in a series of unfortunate events. This made me feel very strange. The book also made me feel curious to find out the mysteries that lurk around every corner.

My favorite part is when Max and Lola meet. It is like a dog and a cat. They are complete opposites, but despite their differences, they have much in common. I connected to the book because like Lady Coco, I love to be free. When she takes over a monkey, it is like a bird is taken out of a cage. She is swinging and laughing -- she is free at last!

The lasting impression that I’ll take away from reading this book is to make sacrifices. It’s difficult to explain why, but the characters made a lot of sacrifices in their lives that will inspire me to make more in my life.

People who love adventure, electrifying moments and the mystery of the Maya will enjoy this book. You’ll understand why once you read it.

Review by Madeleine Denison, 5th grade

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