|Sky raiders (Five Kingdoms)|
Author: Mull, Brandon
[Book 1] Whisked through a portal to The Outskirts, an in-between world, sixth-grader Cole must rescue his friends and find his way back home--before his existence is forgotten.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 165276
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.40
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 62427
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/13)
School Library Journal (03/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2014 Sixth-grader Cole Randolph and his friends (including his crush, Jenna) are whisked away from their ho-hum lives in Arizona to the magical world of the Outskirts, a place that “lies between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death.” Upon their arrival in the Outskirts, Cole’s friends are quickly captured by slavers, but he escapes and sets out on an epic quest to rescue them. As a stranger in a strange land, however, Cole can’t manage on his own, and soon he has met a bevy of unlikely friends—many of whom have magical abilities—as well as enemies who are bent on exploiting Cole and his new friends for their own gain. Everyman Cole doesn’t know much about the fantastical, flying-castle-filled Outskirts, but he’s ready for adventure and eager to learn. Mull’s ample world building only adds even more dimension to Cole’s noble quest. Mull has a built-in audience for this new fantasy adventure series, and fans of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series will not be disappointed. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: One million dollars for marketing? New York Times best-selling Mull’s publisher thinks he’s worth it, and fans of his wildly popular series will likely agree. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Cole talks his friends into visiting a house on Halloween rumored to provide a hauntingly good scare in this fantasy adventure. Instead of a fun evening in the suburbs of Arizona, the teenagers are kidnapped and taken through a portal to be sold as slaves in another world. Cole is sent to work as a Sky Raider, where his mission is to steal valuables from floating castles. This dangerous work helps him forge new friendships with young people who possess special powers. One of these friends is a princess in hiding, and Cole must help her overthrow her father, the evil King, as a way to establish order and help his friends escape slavery. The world-building lacks the necessary description and details which readers expect of this genre. Cole seems to move through the incredulous events without demonstrating any connection to his life on Earth or a real desire to return. The plot contains many twists and turns, but each new encounter is fashioned to outdo the previous one, which strains credulity.—April Sanders, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2014 Sixth-grader Cole is initially mostly occupied with trying to figure out if he is too old for trick-or-treating, but he becomes an unlikely hero after his friends get kidnapped into another realm called the Outskirts. Cole enters voluntarily into this other place (with the admirable but not well-thought-out intention of rescuing his pals), a fact that means he may have strong latent powers that will soon come into play. For now, though, his stubbornness and fierce sense of loyalty are his only tools to figure out the rules of this magical new world, stay alive after he is enslaved by sky raiders, and actually find his friends, who have been sent out over all the five kingdoms as slaves. There’s a significant amount of plot to absorb in this action-packed novel, but the gripping narrative is well worth the effort. Cole is amiable and determined, and the kids with whom he allies himself, all natives of the Outskirts, are carefully developed and intriguing, offering further glimpses into the politics, cultural expectations, and social dynamics of this complex other world. Readers will be eagerly anticipating the next installment, and while they wait they’ll have much to imagine about the fate of the Outskirts and how good might possibly triumph over the well-established evil that currently reigns. AS - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.