Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand

It's officially finished!
Madeline LOVED Raiders' Ransom, but I had mixed feelings about it.

It's fast-paced with tons of action once you get past the first few chapters. The conversations with the talking jewel are hilarious. Madeline even fell off the bed because she was laughing so hard!

There are so many different topics you can springboard onto -- English geography and landmarks, English history, climate change, recycling, living without technology. More things to learn more about!

Amazon has this book marked as recommended for ages 8-12. However, this has some very mature themes including child abuse, slavery, war, underage drinking...well, you get the idea. Most of the reviews talk about how funny the book is, but there are just as many intense moments. The graphic description of corpses from battle could be disturbing to children aged 8-12.

Madeline, 5 Stars
She enjoyed this book as much as Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. When we had 10 chapters to go, she wanted to read it straight to the end. She begged every night to read more!

Mom, 4 Stars
I thought it mas a bit mature and maybe is better suited to more of a young adult {YA} audience. The story was great, but started off slow and depressing. There were even some in our book club who just could not get past the first few chapters and gave up {ages 8-10}. The aftermath of the fleet battle was a bit gruesome for younger readers. More of the talking jewel, please!

Will we continue with the series? Absolutely!
Onto Flood and Fire. Even though some to the themes are a bit mature, they do precipitate many good discussions with my daughter. And to me, that is one of the marks of a really good book!

Enjoy these extra resources to further learn about the setting and themes in Raiders' Ransom.
Madeline is having a blast comparing the book vs. real history and places.

- Games and activities for English, British, and Scottish history via the BBC
- View photos and videos of historical landmarks referenced in the book like the Thames River and Big Ben via National Geographic Kids
- Climate change videos, games, and activities via NASA's Climate Kids
- Free Activity Book: Discover Your Changing World with NOAA includes 10 activities to introduce the principles of climate science

- English folklore/ Young Guinevere by Robert D. San Souci
- Famous authors/ Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life by Mick Manning
- London's historical landmarks/ A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbin
- English theater history/ Tudor Theatre (Building History) by Gillian Clements
- English monarchs / Good Queen Bess : The Story of Elizabeth I of England by Diane Stanley
- Climate change/ The Magic School Bus And The Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole
- Climate change and the polar ice/ Waiting for Ice by Sandra Markle

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