Last week, my 8-year-old and I began reading a series that I just recently heard about - Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda (see more about what we’re reading by following the link above to the kids reading list). OH MY GOSH! This is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while! Mind you, I’ve been reading more children’s picture books than anything else, but I don’t think that has clouded my judgment ( too much).
Now John Grisham and Harry Potter books keep me on the edge of my seat, turning page after page with suspense. The two Deltora Quest books we’ve read thus far give these page turners competition! “I don’t care if it IS your bedtime, we’re going to read the next chapter to find out if they get out of the quicksand or not! ” Yes, I actually said that to my child this week. I started to tell him that he could go on to bed if he wanted to, but I was going to keep reading to find out what happens next. Of course, that would break our “pinky promise” of not reading ahead when the other person isn’t around!
The basic storyline is that a kingdom (Deltora) has been taken over by a “Shadow Lord” and two people begin a quest to restore the lost gems to Deltora’s Belt that wields great power for its ruler. That’s all I’m going to tell you because I really don’t want to give anything away.
I lied. I am going to tell you a little more. I checked out the first book, The Forests of Silence, for him several months ago. He snubbed his nose at it saying, “It’s not really instrusting.” (yes, that’s how he says interesting - he’ll probably spell it wrong on his spelling test, too). But when I sat down to read it aloud to him, he didn’t want me to stop (and neither did I). Some of the plot is a little confusing for him at times, even though he is an advanced reader. Of course, we stop and “review” what is happening in the story, and he surprises me by how much he is following it. However, sometimes he misses a little detail that turns out to be important later.
If my 8-year-old were reading this alone, it would scare the bejeebers out of him. There are some really scary, yucky, mean creatures in the story. Some of the descriptions of the creatures would lead ME to have nightmares if I didn’t have half-a-dozen other things on my mind by the time I went to sleep. We don’t watch much T.V., so his exposure to scary creatures is quite limited. As a result, his imagination runs away with this kind of stuff and scares him quite easily. So far, he hasn’t migrated into our bed during the night or complained of nightmares in the morning.
That’s my disclaimer, so don’t come crying to me if your child gets in bed with you every night while you work your way through this series of 8 books - the books are quite scary in places BUT THEY ARE REALLY GOOD!
I can’t wait for the library to get the third book in the series, The City of Rats. Some “rat” ate it so we’re just biding our time until the next adventure begins. Happy reading!