Monday, January 19, 2015

Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM by Gregory Funaro; Book Review

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! 
I'm thrilled to share my review for a new MG book I think fans are going to love!

By: Gregory Funaro
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: January 6th, 2015
Series: Odditorium #1
Ages: 9-12
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Source: arc from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review.
Purchase from: Amazon |B&N
Add it to Goodreads

This cinematic, action-packed middle grade fantasy adventure set in Victorian London brims with fresh magic and has the cozy feeling of a classic.

Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

A fantastic story! Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM takes readers on an unforgettable, fantasy filled adventure. With it's perfect mix of adventure, humor, mystery, and the element of surprise, it didn't take long for me to be hooked with this engaging story. From the characters, to the writing, and the illustrations, everything about this book is great. Alligator Grim's Odditorium is an action packed middle grade book that even the most reluctant reader will enjoy.

Set in Victorian London, this story centers around our unlikely hero, Grubb. As he'd tell you, that's Grubb, with two b's. Grubb's unlikely adventure begins when he runs away from his horrible master. He's not destined to clean chimneys nor deal with being treated so poorly. Grubb's destiny is an unimaginable one. It's no accident that Grubb ends up hiding in the chest of a guest who's staying at the inn, that Grubb just happens to be working at. As you'll find out when you read this book, some things happen for a reason. Sometimes destiny has a funny way of happening. Grubb's destiny started when he hid from his master, in the chest that belonged to none other than Mr. Grim himself. 

Grubb's hiding place takes him to an unusual place, Alistair Grim's Odditorium. It's a peculiar, secretive place, and unlike any place he's ever been to before. Well, it's unlike any place many people have ever been to before. If there was a place like this, I would have loved to visit it as a kid. Actually, who am I kidding, it would be cool to visit it as an adult. As Grubb quickly learns, this is a place that a variety of things, and unusual characters call home. When the Odditorium comes under threat, it's up to Grubb and his new family of sorts, to protect it and the magic found here.

 Grubb is an appealing character I think readers will enjoy getting to know. He's funny, he's strong when he doesn't think he is, and he doesn't give up. He's the unlikely hero who's easy to cheer on. In the face of adversity, this twelve year old characters some some pretty incredible things. Nothing is simple for Grubb. He has to make his own choices, even if it's a hard one, and the not so popular choice. He is a character who's learning to find his way, and who he is. Being an orphan, he doesn't really know who he is, but he discovers that on his adventure. 

There is a great cast of characters in this book. They turn out to be great friends to Grub, and help him on his journey. I enjoyed getting to read about each of them, and the role they play in Grubb's story. Grubb learns some valuable lessons during the course of adventure. Like many children's books who have that classic appeal to them, this story is about choices, consequences, choosing the right path, what it means to be a true friends, and loyalty. Full of imagination and magic, fans of all ages will enjoy this unforgettable read.

This is an awesome first book in what I think will be a new favorite MG series for many readers. I'm looking forward to finding out what is in store for Grubb and his friends in the next installment in this series exciting new series. 

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day

We're taking a moment to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. #MLKDay
I love this quote! I need to print this quote up and put it up in my house. It's a great reminder than even one person doing good, can make a difference. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is an example of that.

If you're looking for a way to teach your children more about Martin Luther King Jr, check out the list of ideas below (found here):

8 MLK Jr. Values to Instill in Your Kids
  • Top 15 Children’s Books for Black History Month
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Activities for Celebrating with Your Kids
  • Dreams Idea Sheets
  • Ways to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Pictorial Timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Life
  • Celebrating Martin Luther King Day
  • "I Have a Dream" Report
  • Happy Birthday to MLK
  • Martin Luther King Quiz
  • A Movement Led by Dr. Martin Luther King 
  • Dreams Poetry Unit
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Questions
  • The Black Past Quiz
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Receives the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Martin Luther King Jr Quiz for Kids
  • Martin Luther King Quiz for Parents
  • African-American Pioneers Quiz
  • The Martin Luther King Jr Quiz
  • Martin Luther King Quiz for Kids

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    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

    Good children's literature appeals not only to
    the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
    ~ Anonymous ~