Tuesday, May 05, 2020

What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon

Clark, Henry. What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon
May 5th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Calvin's family will probably lose their farms because of a combination of an accidental fire and the new Davy-Tron, a machine which can turn genetically modified tomato juice into any vegetable. Cal's parents are managing to scrape by with seasonal festivities like a corn maze and farm stand, but are seriously considering an offer from the owner of Davy-Tron to buy their farm. When Cal and his friend Drew are hanging out, they see coins rolling uphill, and follow them. They see a girl from school, Modesty, but she runs away, leaving behind a notebook. It seems to be a book of magic spells, and when they run into her again, they find out that the spells work, but are only good at 12:54 each day, limiting their usefulness. Cal and Drew experiment and find out their are several times during the day when they work, but even this magic is not enough to save the farm. When all three children get transported into an alternate universe, they find that the magic is coming from this place, and the use of it in their world is slowly killing the magic one. Will they be able to defeat the evil doers in their world and save the farm as well?
Strengths: This started out really strong-- farm setting, good friends hanging out in a corn maze, magic encroaching upon our world in a way that the protagonists can master. That's the sort of thing that my students are always asking for, especially if there are then magic schools. (Yes, this is no doubt the Harry Potter effect.) Modesty and her large family of sisters was interesting as well.
Weaknesses: The Davy-Tron was kind of cool, but the story took a decidedly quirky turn much like this author's What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World.
What I really think: I probably won't purchase. There are so many fantasy books, and my students are so particular about what constitutes a book they want to read. The public library will no doubt have this one if I have readers who want something quirkier than I stock.

Hernandez, Carlos. Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (#2)
May 5th 2020 by Rick Riordan Presents
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

This is the sequel to Sal and Gabi Break the Universe. The cover update is a great choice; the first book doesn't circulate all that well, and I think it is due in large part because of the cover.

From Goodreads.com
"Sal Vidon creates wormholes. But Sal's father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi's efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker?"

No comments:

Post a Comment