Kliatt Elyon review 2005

Claire RosserFirst released as a self-published book, written by a father for his daughters, this fantasy, the first in a trilogy, has enjoyed popularity in the Northwest and has now been picked up by a major publisher for national distribution. It will have wide appeal to younger YAs who enjoy strong heroines who are courageous and highly intelligent. Alexa lives in a society carefully explained by Carman, who includes a map that helps the reader. The major features of her land are high walls around the cities and even along the roads that connect cities and the claustrophobic nature of these walls.Alexa’s curiosity drives her outside the walls, where she encounters a strange pulsating stone that enables her to speak to animals, who tell her of the threat to her people. She must return home, try to determine the spy in her community, and somehow save her culture from catastrophe. The most endearing parts of the story are the relationships Alexa forms with animals who help her: Murphy the squirrel, Darius the wolf, Ander the grizzly. The vocabulary is challenging, the puzzles intriguing, and Alexa is an admirable character.(The Land of Elyon, Book 1).KLIATT Codes: Jr. Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Scholastic, Orchard, 251p. map., Ages 12 to 15.

Patrick Carman