"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A "Nobel Beehive Award" Review: The Enchanted Attic, Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by L.L. Samson

The Enchanted Attic #1: Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame
by L.L. Samson (Lisa Samson)
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Zonderkidz (Zondervan)
Book Source: ARC
Available Format(s): Paperback, 141pgs
Genre: MG

(from Goodreads) 

"A hidden attic. A classic story. 
A very unexpected twist.
Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home-if he can survive long enough in the modern world."

"Treat something with love and respect, and it will join you in making something beautiful.
- Quasimodo, Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame (ARC) page 73


Sometimes, a book that is so very well written and entertaining, needs no introduction nor words... every kid out there should read this book! This book, and eventually series, should be in every classroom/school!

The story is narrated by a disgruntled janitor from Kingscross University; the storyteller is full of humor and insight. I really did enjoy having him jump in at times and give us his two cents and would explain words and phrases that a middle grader may not fully understand the meanings to them yet.

The story begins with twins, Ophelia and Linus, having to go stay with their Aunt and Uncle while their parents go off for 5 years to a remote island to study rare insects and butterflies. In their boredom, they venture around and explore their new 3 story-home - down the stairs is their Aunt's used book shop, the basement is where their Uncle's old collection of costumes and antiques are stored... and then one day, they go upstairs and find a hidden door that leads them to the enchanted attic!
Upon finding the attic, they unearth many trivial bottles filled with unknown powders and liquids, curious books and unique drawings on the floor. All of these things that once belonged to the previous owner -  a mad magician that practiced apothecary, who had disappeared a few years ago.
 One night while Ophelia was reading her book in the attic, she got curious with her surroundings, and while looking around, she dropped her book onto the floor at the exact moment that something magical was aligning up! In the next moment, Quasimodo appears!
How did Quasimodo come out of the book???

The rest of the story is about getting to know people, trying to do the right thing and standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid.

How will they help Quasimodo get back into his world???
And will they be able to help Quasimodo and change his story for the better???

My only issue with this book is probably just a typographical error - the summary states that the twins are twelve years old, but as you read the story, it continuously says that they are fourteen. Since this is an ARC, I believe that it may just be a typo. The children in this book do seem to be mature, so I am going to say that they are fourteen, it just makes better sense to me...

I highly recommend this book! Especially for advancing middle graders that are taking the leap from beginner chapter books to those thicker ones, and for those who have an early interest in writing.

AND, book 2 to The Enchanted Attic series, Saving Moby Dick, is due to be released later this year... 

In Saving Moby Dick, Linus, Ophelia and their friend Walter, think they can control the powers of the Enchanted Attic. They Plan to bring Captain Ahab from Book World into Real World, on their own terms. But even the best laid plans go awry sometimes, and their adventures take a wild turn. Captain Ahab is far crazier than they realized, and bookstores aren't really the best places to find whales, white or otherwise. 


"The Christy-award winning author of nineteen books including the Women of Faith Novel of the YearQuaker Summer, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks." 
She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids."

Thanks for stopping by!
and happy reading :)

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