The Emerald Atlas is another book that has been on my TBR list since it came out a number of years ago. My sister listened to the audio book with her kids and I couldn’t be out done, so I downloaded the audio too. My sister and her kids loved it and so did my son and I. We listen to audiobooks in the car constantly because I have a 45 minute drive too and from work each day. Sometimes my son listens to the books and sometimes he sits in the backseat playing with his Rescue Bot figurines. With this book he actually requested that I turn it on each time we got in the car, “Mommy can you turn on the green book?” That is the first time he’s been so engaged to request a book.
The Emerald Atlas
By John Stephens
Edited by: ?
Publisher: Random House
Narrated by Jim Dale
The book begins with three young children, Kate, Michael, and Emma, who for unknown reasons are give up for adoption. They know their parents are alive and have promised they be together again. Because of this they become unwanted since they tell all potential adopters that their parents will come back for them.
After being shuffled from agency to agency for ten years, they finally land in a big ole mysterious house near a mysterious town with no children and a mysterious forest fraught with danger. In exploring this house, they find a green book which transports them to another time. They discover a scary mean countess, some monsters, some kind and helpful people, what happened to the children, and Dr. Pym. They must find a way to save the children and keep what the countess seeks out of her hands.
Did I mention there are magical creatures, dwarves, wizards, sorceresses, and elfish type people in this book? Do you see why I love it so much?
The narration is stunning! Jim Dales voice is deep and rich and versatile. He is so very talented! So now I’ve added him to my list of favorite narrators. Maybe I’ll do a post on magical voices someday soon.
I work with middle school children so I know how kids that age behave in general. Some authors get it wrong and have five year old act like a teen and have teens act like five year olds. I had a threenager in my house two years ago, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about developmental impossibilities. This author doesn’t do that; he nails the ages!
Emma is five or six (about the same age as my son), the thought process and perceptions Emma has is perfect! She desires to do more than she can.
Michael is the geeky, know it all type obsessed with knowledge in general and specifically dwarves. I can relate to the way he geekily obsesses over something!
Kate is the one with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She must keep her brother and sister safe and hold herself responsible for everything. As an oldest child I relate to her the most! Stephens has a knack for writing believable characters.
The story is a delight as well. Even though there are three main characters and sometimes the story goes in three different directions, the characters are distinct enough to keep it straight.
Who will Like This?
If you love fantasy, orphan children, a bit of mystery, and lots of adventure, then you will love this! It is not a challenging read and it is perfectly free of anything inappropriate, so any age child from 4th grade and up. Maybe even some advanced third graders could tackle this one, or kids with the help of their parents. This would actually be a lovely read to your child book for the elementary age children. The lexile level is 720, but don’t stop your child from trying to read it if they want to, even if the they are currently reading at a lower lexile or a higher lexile. Lexile levels should never stop a child from reading what they are interested in, which is why I don’t always put it in my reviews.
Foul Language: None
Sexual Content: None
Substance Abuse: None