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Middle Grade Time! Today I am looking at the latest fantasy release from author MP Kozlowsky, The Dyerville Tales.
Vince has lived in an orphanage ever since a fire killed his mother, and his father was never found. The orphanage is a dull place, and Vince's stories brighten up all the children's lives. One day a package arrives for him, a book written by his Grandfather and delivered as per his death bed request. The book tells magic tales from the life of his Grandpa, and Vince is determined to attend his funeral, even though the orphanage caretaker says no.
Vince escapes and as he travels he reads his Grandpa's book, delving deeper into amazing stories. Vince also comes to believe that if he makes it to the funeral, that his missing father will also be there. As he gets closer, the book and reality begin to merge, and Vince realizes that there may actually be magic in the world and a chance to see his family again.
This is a delightful book filled with wonderful stories of adventure and magic. Little Vince is special, you know it the first time you meet him and he tells stories to the other children. Because his father was never found, Vince has kept the belief in his heart that his father will one day come for him. His grandfather's funeral is the perfect opportunity for him to put his faith into action.
The stories in his grandfather's book begin with a curse and a wicked witch. They progressively continue on as his grandfather combats evil and tries to find his lost mother. This part of the book reminded me a lot of that movie, "Big Fish," where the father has all these delightful and fantastical tales. I love how each story builds on the other and Vince's grandfather comes to life. By the time Vince reaches Dyerville, you know the grandfather as more than a name.
The only thing I wondered about was Vince's father. Before the fire, Vince's mom and dad are arguing about keeping Vince hidden from things? But what they're hiding from is never revealed. Then later in the book you wonder if the dad is actually still alive, but if he is, why didn't he get Vince from the orphanage? Just some unanswered questions. I always like a story to wrap things up.
Anyway, a fun read for youngsters 8 and up. 4 stars!