|Defender of the realm (Defender of the realm)|
Author: Huckerby, Mark
#1--For hundreds of years the United Kingdom has been protected by a mysterious guardian known as the Defender. Part myth, part superhero, few truly believed the Defender existed ... until now. Because of the Defender, two kids from two different backgrounds are about to be enlisted in a centuries-long battle for the fate of a nation.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Ostler, Nick|
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.00
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 189492
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 72258
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/16)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 4–6—This serviceable middle grade adventure is fast-paced, rambunctious, and jammed with humor and action. Alfie is the typical awkward teenager, except he's also the prince of Great Britain and next in line for the throne. Hayley has less affluent circumstances; her mother has passed away, and she lives with her ailing grandmother. Things quickly take a turn toward the fantastical when Hayley comes into possession of a mysterious black scale after witnessing a fight at the Tower of London between a monster called the Black Lizard and the legendary Defender of the Realm, a mythical hero clad in armor. This hero turns out to be Alfie's father, whose untimely death at the hands of the Black Lizard makes Alfie the next king—and also the next Defender of the Realm. Alfie and Hayley are both likable, if not incredibly unique, and although it takes some time for them to finally meet, the two work well together as a team. In order to keep a lighter tone, some of the more somber events, including Alfie's father's death and Hayley's grandmother being placed in a nursing home and Hayley in foster care, are glossed over in favor of action and jokes. While this title is not a standout compared with others in the genre, there are a couple of surprise twists, particularly on the last pages, which will leave readers anxiously waiting for the inevitable sequel. VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries looking for action-packed fantasy adventures aimed at reluctant readers.—Laura J. Giunta, Garden City Public Library, NY - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2017 Hayley and her grandmother are touring the Tower of London when the Black Lizard, a humanlike reptile, smashes through a wall to grab the Crown Jewels, only to be foiled by the Defender, England’s enigmatic superhero. Meanwhile Alfie, next in line for the throne, sneaks out of Harrow School and makes headlines by hiding in a trash can to avoid a news photographer. Soon after the king’s sudden death, Hayley and Alfie become allies in thwarting the Black Lizard, who’s attempting to seize power by finding and reassembling the hidden shards of the magical crown of King Alfred the Great. Can two 14-year-olds save the realm? Readers will find it hard to resist a young noble who aspires to be known as Alfie the Not So Bad, while biracial Hayley brings courage, kindness, and common sense to their mission. The trappings of British history and royalty are here, along with elements of fantasy and humor, but adventure drives this fast-paced chapter book. An unexpected twist on the last page will leave readers eager for sequels. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.