Archive for November 16, 2016

Atlantis Lost

Written by T.A. Barron

Featuring the battle between good and evil and offering an explanation for the disappearance of the island of Atlantis, the last volume of Barron’s trilogy is exciting and action packed.

This tale begins with the island being well-established and her residents living idyllic lives. Immortals traverse the Universal Bridge, between light and dark, and discuss their existence. Meanwhile, the evil Narkazan plots to increase his power and take over the world. He wants to retrieve the Starstone, a sort of magical amplifier from the mortal love, Atlanta, of one immortal, Promi. Narkazan unleashes his minions, including dark mistwraiths and a horrible monster that destroys the City of Great Powers, devours her residents, and produces terrible offspring. Many characters have pure motives. They help wherever they can. Many characters are complicit and devious. A fierce battle ensues, involving wind lions, good and bad dragons, giants, and many other mythical creatures. In order to save the world, Atlantis must die. Hope survives.

As with many of Barron’s books, this is a great introduction to or addition to mythical sagas and the literature surrounding them. It is riveting and worth the read. 

Order on Amazon

  • atlantis-lostTitle: Atlantis Lost                                                
  • Author: T.A. Barron
  • Published: Philomel Books/Penguin Random House, 2016
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
  • Grade Level: 5 up
  • Genre: Fiction, Mythology
  • ISBN: 978-0-399-16805-5


The Dog, Ray

Written by Linda Coggin

In the first sentence, the main character dies. Funny stuff.

Daisy (the girl who dies) goes through a sort of employment office and becomes a puppy. The thing is, she passes through the wrong door and retains all her knowledge of being a girl. She also retains her heterochromia, having two different colors of eyes. Some think of that as a spirit dog. When she’s adopted by a not-very-kindly family, she spends all her time tied to a doghouse plotting her escape. Eventually, she does escape and attaches herself to a homeless boy and a kindly old man. The boy, Pip, treats her well and renames her Ray. Ray, in turn, helps Pip find his family and get a good start in life. They find both good and bad people along the way. Pip and Ray form a strong bond.

The author presents a lot of philosophy and a lot about the nature of death and transmigration of the soul. If desired, this could start a great discussion about death and religion in general. Do dogs have souls? Do they dream about the things the author claims? Are other animals really afraid of spirit dogs?

Whether or not dogs really think like the author says, they should.

I can see a piece of toast someone must have dropped under the next table and has escaped Maisie’s sharp eye. I begin, very slowly, to inch myself toward it. Elbow. Elbow. Foot. Foot. Body. Mmmm.


Order on Amazon

  • the-dog-rayTitle: The Dog, Ray
  • Author: Linda Coggin
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2016
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
  • Grade Level: 5 up
  • Genre: Fiction, philosophy
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-7938-5