Monday, January 26, 2015
Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner
Middle Grade time and I've got a good one for you guys- Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner.
Maddy is special nine-year-old who has the ability to speak every language in the world, both existing and from the past. When she is spotlighted on a news show, her wild ride begins. Maddy accompanies a professor to a 1,000 year old monastery in Bulgaria where a series of ancient scrolls are kept. Tagging along for the ride, but unknown for a bit, is Maddy's best friend Kazuki.
While traveling Maddy meets the Bulgarian wrestler Dimitar and his strange monkey. Her new friendship comes in handy when she is taken prisoner by a witch and forced to translate the mysterious scrolls, which are actually magical spells. Maddy must escape from the witch before the evil enchantress uses the spells to steal the languages of all the people in England.
Maddy’s spunky attitude brings this story to life. The reader can’t help but be taken in by her honesty and friendliness, and smile will when she stands up to the bad guys. Even her motives are genuine, she wants to help people. Of course, the people that surround her aren’t as true. The way her mother treats Maddy as a cash cow pulls at your heart strings. Plus, the evil witch is truly evil and will send chills down the reader’s spine.
But, true friendship is also a major theme throughout the tale. Kazuki will not leave her side, and when the tide turns, Maddy is right there for him. Together the two characters inspire goodness and take on the wacky and weird that keeps coming straight at them. A truly adventurous tale of magic and humor that will keep middle graders engaged to the last page. Wow, 5 stars!