Saving Lucas Biggs | The Thickety | Falling Into The Dragon’s Mouth

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Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague has an absolutely eye catching cover. Personally, I am quite partial to covers which showcase night time scenes and stars. This cover is one that convinced me to read the book. I also think it will be eye catching for its intended audience. Thankfully, the contents within were in line with my judgment of this book by its cover.

Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague is a middle grade time travel book with several narrators. When we begin the book, Margaret O’Malley’s father has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. Her uncle Joshua who is wicked old suggests that Margaret go back in time to undo a chain of events wherein the Judge who is Lucas Biggs turns his heart and believes his father, Aristotle, murdered mine owner Theodore Ratliff. So, the book kind of goes between modern day and the depression era.

Basically, Marisa de los Santos and David Teague write a very smart books bringing issues like labor rights and the ethics of time travel and changing the past to a middle grade level. There is a twisting and winding plot line. I really enjoyed the big reveals and how everything tied together. I also really liked the characters and the different tough choices they were faced with making. I even enjoyed the side characters as well.

The audiobook has three narrators who meld quite well. Each takes on different chapters so it does not feel full cast. The audiobook is narrated by Angela Goethals, Steven Kaplan, and Josh Hurley. All three narrators were new to me. I am glad I took a chance and went with an audiobook of all new to me narrators. I felt like Saving Lucas Biggs was such an engaging listen. Thus, I can’t recommend this audiobook highly enough.

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The Thickety: A Path Begins by JA White is a bit of a dark middle grade book. When I was an actual middle grader, I certainly could not get enough of those dark books — especially because they did not feel dumbed down at all. Frankly, this series opener also trusts in the intelligence of its reader. Personally, I felt this was an engaging read and would work as either an audiobook read or a physical book read. I chose to read this via audio, but I will likely continue via physical book as there’s a lot a missed via audio.

So, The Thickety: A Path Begins is about this girl named Kara and her brother Taff. Both are kind of outcasts in the village that they live in. You see, they live in a world where magic isn’t cool. Magic is actually looked down upon and considered to be evil. This is awful for them because their mother was a witch. The villagers are even more scared of the woods, called the Thickety. So, anyways. One day Kara goes into the Thickety and finds this magical grimoire.

Of course, things (read: magic) begins to happen as a result of Kara finding the grimoire. The story gets kind of intense and does take a few satisfying and scary turns. I’ll be excited to see what happens in the next book. Kara is an interesting heroine. She has a hard lot in life, yet she still makes decent decisions. I certainly was Team Kara the entire time.

As for the audiobook, it is narrated by Susan Duerden. If you’ve listened to a lot of middle grade audiobooks, chances are you have heard Duerden narrate before. She has the perfect voice for middle grade fantasy. It’s got kind of an ethereal tone to it. The audiobook is 8 hours and 49 minutes long. It goes by quick though. I will admit, I did lose attention a few times and ended up confused, but on the whole, I enjoyed this audiobook of The Thickety: A Path Begins by JA White.

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Falling Into The Dragon’s Mouth by Holly Thompson is a middle grade verse book and quite different from other middle grade verse books that I have read. Of the three books reviewed today, it is my least favorite. Yet, I still can see the value in actual middle grade kids reading this book as it takes on the familiar theme of bullying but with a twist.

So, Falling Into The Dragon’s Mouth is all about this boy named Jason Parker. Jason is an American who lives abroad in Japan with his parents in a seaside village. Jason speaks Japanese but is having a tough time. He is no longer at the American school because his parents can no longer afford it. Instead he is at a local school. He hates it there because he is constantly bullied and made fun of.

Essentially, this book is about Jason being bullied and being a stranger in a strange land. He and his sister make a few friends though in unexpected places. Eventually Jason gets past being bullied. I thought the writing style of verse was unique. I also found the setting to be interesting too and different from what I have experienced. I can’t speak to the authenticity or the representation. I am not particularly enamored with Falling Into The Dragon’s Mouth but I can definitely see its value with its actual intended audience.

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  • Couldn’t find any via google on the first 5 pages — if you review this, drop your link in the comments and I will add it up here

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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  1. […] the Stars by Marisa de los Santos, David Teague Also by this author: , Saving Lucas Biggs Narrator: Cassandra Morris, Jesse Bernstein Length: 8 Hours 11 Minutes Published by HarperCollins […]

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