Friday, January 25, 2013

Promises are Promises

    In keeping with my New Year’s Resolution, I have ventured into new reading lands. In the past, the idea of reading a fantasy novel would have left me feeling a bit uninspired. I tend to be a realist in most areas of my life, including my reading selections so fantasy has never been my genre of choice. Never a quitter though, I decided to read a book popular among my older students. I recently finished The Familiars by screenwriters Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. 
    The first in a trilogy, The Familiars, was released in 2010 with HarperCollins Publishers. The story is cleverly written with a great mix of humor and excitement, perfect for younger readers.  In many ways, I was reminded of the Warrior Series and the Harry Potter blending together. 
    The main characters are three animals with magical powers that embark on the journey of their lives in a quest to save their human companions. Aldwyn, a young alley cat, does not know he possess magical powers but has keen survival skills. The other two animals Skylar, a rather bossy blue-jay, and Gilbert, a fun-loving but bumbling tree-frog, have been with their humans for many years.  The humans play a relatively small role in the story, leaving the major action to the unique animals that each bring their own special flare to the story. 

    Even though I knew many of my students enjoyed the story, I was still hesitant. I am excited to say that I enjoyed the story very much and am eager to read the other two books in the trilogy. I found The Familiars easy to read, as the action kept moving. The characters were playful and fun and I think many young readers would relate them.
    So while I am early in the year, book one of the New Year’s Resolution has gone well. Here’s to book two!

    There is a downloadable teacher’s guide for The Familiars available at:

Photo Credit: Peter Chan and Kei Acedera

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