Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Shannon Messenger, author of KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES (Oct 2012). The weekly meme is to showcase middle grade books you love and/or feature an upcoming MG release, author interview or MG review. To learn more about MMGM click here!
Review: I’d like to first thank Bloomsbury for sending me the book to review via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
There are so many different middle grade books on the market today that it’s difficult to choose just one to read. But if you have a chance this year to read a middle grade debut, then check out THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST by Sarvanez Tash.
It’s a story with heart and has positive messages devoted to family, friendship, loyalty and bravery, Oh, and not to mention characters who not only shine as positive role models, but ones who learn right from wrong — often the hard way. Don’t get me wrong, this is a story where theme is not thrown in your face, but rather is subtly weaved into the hilarious and creative plot.
At the center of the story is Goldenrod Moram who wishes her name didn’t sound like a princess in a fairytale. But she’s stuck with it. She has a younger brother who likes tagging along with her and looks up to his big sis. The story starts out at the end of the school year for both Goldenrod and her brother who are now off for summer fun. Sadly, Goldenrod doesn’t know what to do with herself. Her best friend has since moved away. They were partners in adventure just like Lewis & Clark. Meriwether Lewis is Goldenrod’s favorite explorer and she tries to emulate his spirit of adventure by making maps and exploring her backyard. But Goldenrod wants to step outside her home’s property and explore her neighborhood.
Yet, her parents have been reluctant for Goldenrod to go exploring around town, even if it’s a small one. Good parents! But Goldenrod convinces them she won’t go far, she’ll stay safe, and she will take precaution and have everything she needs for her daily adventures, including a cell phone. After all, she wants to make a map of her town for her BFF. Goldenrod ends up with more than just a map and discovers herself by helping other people in their time of need, and what it means to make new friends.
THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST does involve the topic of kidnapping which is committed by a motley crew of young kids who have rather nefarious plans. Oh yeah…you’re probably wondering about the ghost. Well, the ghost involves Lewis & Clark and was a delightful surprise.
Goldenrod is admirable and smart at gathering clues, as well as plotting strategies throughout the novel. I was enchanted by this book and didn’t want it to end. As far as I know, THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST is a standalone book, but it would make a terrific series for middle graders! I would be thrilled to see Goldenrod go on many exciting adventures around her charming town.
I’m giving THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST 5 “Middle Grade Book Fans” for being…golden!
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