Sunday, November 17, 2013

Corriander Jones Saves the World - Kim English

Publisher:  Cricket Cottage Publishing
Pages: 270
Source: I purchased this
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

From Amazon:
The Old Ones are out there, waiting, and trying to get back into our dimension. All that separates us from them is a barrier known as the sieve. 

Thirteen-year-old Coriander Jones, her best friend Sam and little sister Autumn are expecting another summer as usual at Camp Happy Haven, a rundown summer camp subsidized for “lower income children.” But after the bus ride to camp turns into a battle for their very lives, Coriander discovers she is part of a mysterious, centuries-old organization that defends our world against the return of the “Old Ones,” deities that pre date written or even spoken history. Angry at being forgotten and replaced over the eons, they want to breach the sieve and re-establish their control over humanity. Along with Sam and Autumn, Coriander must work with her arch nemesis, the formerly wealthy Olivia, and the mysterious teenager, Cole, to save the world from being thrown into chaos and despair.

In between discovering her own unique powers and trying to uncover Cole’s secret agenda, Coriander must also juggle endless bureaucratic paperwork, nosy counselors, homicidal maintenance men, and the first annual Camp Happy Haven Color War.

If she survives all that, maybe she’ll have time to save the world.

My Thoughts
It is not very often my mom recommends a children's book to me.  She came home from church a couple of weeks ago with a book her friend had given her.  Her friend's daughter had written i,t and it had just been published.  My mom recommended it.  I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle.  Half way through the book I ordered a print copy for my classroom.  I knew this was a book I wanted on my shelves.

Corriander Jones is exactly the type of book I look for when purchasing books for my shelves at school.  This book made me think of several things.  We have a protagonist who fits the age group I teach.  That means the kids will be able to relate to her.  The book deals with battling different gods.  Kids who love the Percy Jackson series will love this book.  It has something that a lot of books similar to this topic does not have, a female protagonist.  A lot of my students would be able to relate to Corriander Jones because she is from a poorer neighborhood.  She and her sister, along with a couple of other friends attend the same camp every year because it is set up for disadvantaged kids.  This book teaches kids that they can accomplish what they set out to accomplish no matter what their financial circumstances.  It shows that smart kids aren't always rich kids.

The characters are very relatable.  They show the beginnings of crushes, dealing with annoying people, and most importantly not judging people until you have walked in their shoes.  The author used Florida as her character's playground.  Although some well known cities were mentioned, the setting could have been any number of places in Florida.  She did an excellent job of creating a place that anyone in Florida could identify with.

If you are looking for an adventure to read or recommend to your middle grader then I would say look no more. Corriander Jones is just sarcastic and lovable enough to entice your child into this story. There is plenty of action for both boys and girls to be interested in this series.
I definitely recommend this to teachers, librarians, parents and especially middle grade age kids.

Kim English is an author to watch for.  I don't know what she has up her sleeve next but I hope it comes soon.

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