Sunday, May 31, 2009

THE VANISHING SCULPTOR by Donita K.Paul


***Good morning, Blog Buds! This Middle Grade novel is reviewed by a real Middle Grader, my daughter, whom I will refer to here as Kimber An, Jr. She's reviewed MG SciFi for me at my Young Adult Science Fiction blog, but this is her debut review here.***

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*Take it away, Jr!*

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Say, have you ever read a book where you think, “Uck. I love the characters, but the story is hardly worth reading!” In the first 11 chapters or so, (it’s 48 chapters, easily the longest book I’ve read so far) I was thinking this was that kind of book. But as I read on, I realized it was much more. The author even interwove some Christian elements into this, so if you can pick them out, this is a very useful book for Christians.
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Now for the review. The book opens with Beccaroon, a giant parrot and the main character’s best friend, watching the main character, Tipper, sell one of her father’s statues. See, her father disappeared, and Tipper’s family had begun to run out of money, so she’d been forced to sell them.


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Beccaroon, ( Bec for short) quite frankly, doesn’t like it. Tipper’s father, named Verrin Schope, was his best friend, and Bec had been left to help Tipper run the mansion.
Then, one day, Verrin Schope returns! The only problem is, he’s been sucked through a sort of magical gate-sort of like a black hole-in-get this-Tipper’s mother’s closet! And now, every so often, he keeps being sucked back through the gate into the closet.
The only way to stop this is to find three statues that, when put together, forms a flagstone that will stop it.


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So Tipper, Bec, and Verrin Schope, (he’s able to go because he pulled up the floorboard the gate was on and now has it with him) and plus an old librarian named Libettowit and a wizard named Fenworth, set out to find a artistic tumanhofer (it explains this and also the other “races” you encounter in the book at the back) Bealomondore, who possibly knows the whereabouts of the three statues.


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While there, Tipper makes friends with Zabeth, Grandur, and Junkit, three “minor dragons” that have accompanied them on the trip. She also meets Hue, a purple dragon who’s a very good singer.
From there the group, plus Bealomondore, heads to a mountain where larger riding dragons live. There they meet Prince Jayrus, a talented dragon handler. After consulting Sage, the oldest living dragon, they head out on four riding dragons to find the first statue, Morning Glory. It’s in the hands of a old enemy of Bealomondore’s, Bamataub.


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Needless to say, Bamataub gives them a hard time. First he has some of his henchmen kidnap Verrin Schope. Then, while Tipper and Prince Jayrus try to get in to get the statue, they kidnap them and take away Beccaroon’s tail! (Don’t worry, he’s okay and eventually gets a new tail.)
Finally, Prince Jayrus manages to take care of Bamataub, and they depart that town, statue in tow, (or, actually, in one of Fenworth’s “hollows”) searching for the second statue, Day’s Deed. But to find out if they get it and the last statue, Evening’s Yearns, you’ll have to read the book, which I hear is due in the stores on Tuesday!
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No, don’t go grab you shoes yet-for two reasons. One, it’s not due until Tuesday! Two, it’s time for that part of the review where I say what’s good about this book and what’s not. So without further ado-
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WHAT’S GOOD AND WHAT’S NOT!
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WHAT’S GOOD: It’s a very good story, and the characters are fun (Especially the wizard and librarian!) And, as I said before, it has some parts where there’s some good stuff for Christians, if you can pick it out and “clean” it, so to speak. Also, I like that the author included a sort of dictionary to the world of The Vanishing Sculptor. It includes a list of characters, including the various dragons, and also a dictionary to the various things you may be confused with. For example, a lollipop. In The Vanishing Sculptor, it’s referred to as a lickick.
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AND WHAT’S NOT: I was rather bored in the beginning 11 chapters because nothing much was happening except some dialogue and a few surprises. Fortunately the rest of the book came to the rescue-to put it exactly, about from the point where they actually leave their house. I think maybe they should’ve put a move on earlier. And lemme tell you, the first one or two chapters ought to cast a little preview of what’s going on. And they ought to have a little excitement, too!


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(Still, I strongly suggest you read those 11 chapters. Otherwise, you might miss some important details, like info about Tipper’s father the famous artist Verrin Schope.)
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All in all, this is a good read that I find is not only fun to read, it’s sort of like Dinotopia books: they’re fantasy that’s really more than that: it’s a book that makes you think deeper about yourself and the people around you.


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***THE VANISHING SCULPTOR will be in bookstores on Tuesday, June 2nd. Click on this link to learn more- http://www.donitakpaul.com/

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P.S. In case you think I made Jr. do this review to keep up her smarts during the summer, I didn't. She can does this kind of thing for fun. She was reading at age 2. Maybe I should have her start her own (strictly moderated by Mom) book review blog. Hmmm...***

6 comments:

Tia Nevitt said...

Great job! Now the next thing is to get her own blog . . . just kidding. It's always good to see a MG novel with some positive Christian elements.

I LOVE the cover art!

Kimber An said...

Jr. says she thinks the dragon on the cover is really cute!

Mystery Robin said...

Excellent job, Jr.!!

Yunaleska said...

Great review Jr! I'd be interested in a separate blog :)

Clover Autrey said...

Good reviewing, Jr. You gave all the right information for me to decide whether to get this book or not.

Kimber An said...

Thanks, everyone! We have a lot to talk about in setting up a seperate blog. We'll let you know!