|Gabriel Finley & the raven's riddle|
Author: Hagen, George
Eleven-year-old Gabriel, with the help of the young raven Paladin, with whom he has a magical bond, travels to the foreboding land of Aviopolis, where he must face challenges and unanswerable riddles to rescue his long-missing father.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 170824
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 68771
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/14)
School Library Journal (09/01/14)
Booklist (+) (09/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/14)
The Hornbook (00/11/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2014 *Starred Review* Gabriel Finley has lived in his Brooklyn brownstone with his aunt since his father disappeared several years earlier. His mother has been gone since he was a baby. The thing he enjoys most is solving riddles, unaware that this skill will be essential when it comes to finding his father. Adult novelist Hagen offers a first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers that pulls elements from other great stories. Like Harry Potter, Gabriel must use all his wits to secure two magical objects from a dark lord, his evil uncle Corax, who is part human, part raven. Like Lyra in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, Gabriel has a daemon, the young raven Paladin, with whom his life is intertwined. And like Reynie in Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society books, Gabriel surrounds himself with a group of offbeat friends who each have their own problems to solve. Yet this story, told from several points of view, is fresh: full of ravens, riddles, and the ongoing urge to make things right in a world where much has gone wrong. Though the narrative is a bit choppy in places, the characters carry the day, with their humor and strength. Humor is, in fact, one of the book’s selling points, often in the form of the characters’ witty repartee. Middle-graders looking for a soaring fantasy that’s not too hard, not too easy, will find this just right. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Gabriel Finley loves riddles. His father taught him one every day; every day, that is, until he disappeared. For three years Gabriel's father has been missing and his father's somewhat dotty but loving sister is taking care of Gabriel. Ravens also love riddles. They use riddles to distinguish themselves from valravens—evil birds who never laugh, who eat human flesh, and who turned humankind away from friendship with ravens. On Gabriel's 12th birthday, his aunt gives him his father's diary and he discovers that his father was an amicus, someone who could merge with a raven and fly through the sky. He also discovers that his father's older brother, Corax, was also an amicus who turned evil and disappeared. Soon after, Gabriel rescues a baby raven and discovers that he, too, is an amicus. The raven, Paladin, tells Gabriel that they must find an object called a torc, which can grant any wish, before Gabriel's Uncle Corax does. The titular character, along with Paladin; Septimus, a former inmate who knows his father; and three school friends, sets out to rescue of his father and, in essence, save the world. Hagen has crafted a tale that contains riddles, magic, courage, loyalty, and compassion in a way that is sure to engage readers. Gabriel inhabits a dark world where friendship is the guiding light and differences are respected and valued. This is a great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of "Harry Potter." The ending suggests that more is to come, and more will be welcome.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.