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-Hosted by Shannon Messenger

Today’s marvelous book is one of those I just happened to stumble upon.  It has been a bit since I read it… I’m recalling it from my ‘to review list,” and I cannot believe I haven’t talked about it before!

If you are a lover of all things middle grade fantasy, then you have to pick up this story. There’s a little adventure and mystery, and my favorite part–it sort of breaks into science-y-fiction territory. Middle Grade sci-fi?!?!? I know, right?
Fabulous… just fabulous.

Author:Lynne Jonell | Website
Publisher: Henry Holt & CO
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Pages: 298

Cristina lives in a place she can’t escape, and one where outsiders aren’t welcome.
The blown-up lab in the middle of the forest is pretty much to blame.

See, the explosion took her mom and now her scientist dad is extra careful. He knows the world is full of dangerous stuff, so he won’t even let her befriend the orphans down the road. But when Taft, an orphan boy, sneaks in and tells her of the secret tunnels, Cristina finds she is up for adventure and the mystery of her mother’s death resurfaces.

5 reasons why this book is marvelous!

  1. This is an older book (2009) and one I actually read this past summer, but it still sticks with me! It has such a creative storyline that I find myself recommending it to kids all of the time.
  2. The Secret of Zoom is a mash-up of all my favorite storylines: part mystery, part adventure, part science-fiction, part fantasy… what’s not to love!
  3. Taft, the boy main character (yay!), is a fun. He’s an orphan, and I just have a place in my heart for orphan stories. Something about them grabs hold of me, and makes the story twenty million times better.
  4. Cristina is a great heroine. Even though she rebels a little, she is brave and adventurous… and she isn’t about to let grown ups give her silly explanations for things. She finds out the truth for herself.
  5. I love how this story gets a little bit sciency-y. You have to read it to know what I’m talking about, but let me tell you… as a non science geek, I can appreciate a very good adventure-y, mysterious science story! This novel has great imagination!

Book Talk: Have you read The Secret of Zoom before? What did you like about it? Does it remind you of any other MG fantasy novels?

Hopeful reading!