The League and the Lantern is the first book in a new adventure series for middle-school readers. Jake Herndon’s middle school sleepover takes a shocking turn when a dangerous organization invades. As he and his new friends Lucy and TJ race for their lives on the streets of Chicago they unravel a centuries-old mystery and an incredible secret about Jake’s family. Packed with unforgettable characters, mind-bending twists and laugh-out loud humor, The League and The Lantern is a ride you won’t soon forget.
SERIES: The League and the Lantern #1
GENRE: Middle Grade, Adventure
PUBLISHER: Republic Ink
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2016
I. Loved. This. Book.
C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Y’all. THIS? is a good children’s story. It’s a good adult story. It’s just a good story.
In fact, I haven’t been as captivated or entertained by a middle grade novel since the Harry Potter series. Before that it was of course The Chronicles of Narnia. And while I haven’t yet read the Percy Jackson books, what I have heard about them leads me to easily put The League and the Lantern in the same … well, league.
The trio of main characters – Jake, TJ, and Lucy – are a hoot! Strong kids (emotionally, mentally, etc.) from loving families and different backgrounds. All three are misfits of sorts (but then, who isn’t in middle school?) and this bonds them together … even before they’re forced together by the museum break-in and murder and – you know – fleeing for their lives. High stakes, fast-paced action ensues, peppered with hearty doses of humor that is edifying while still appealing to the middle grade mind. (Poor TJ – he just wants something to eat 🙂 ) As if that weren’t fabulous enough, history comes alive, laced with just enough intrigue to have kids digging for more info. Lo and behold, they’re learning before they know what’s hit them!
Bottom Line: The League and the Lantern is imaginative and well-written from page 1 to the final sentence. Hilariously smart humor for middle grade kids and their adults, well-written movie quality action scenes, high stakes suspense, historical intrigue…. and bonus education while you’re at it. Brian Wells set out to provide quality entertainment for his kids, and he has more than done so. I am thoroughly impressed with the intentionality behind this book – the values, the excellence, even the vocabulary (he worked with education professionals to seamlessly weave 140 of the top vocab words for middle school success into The League and the Lantern) and engaging history. As a teacher, as an aunt, as an avid reader – I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Completely enjoyed it and waiting eagerly for the next volume in the series. (P.S. – My husband snatched up the book as soon as I’d finished with it – he’s reading it now…. and giggling in the background while I type up this review. I’d say it’s a winner in our household all around! Our childless household. lol.)
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 5 stars / In a class by itself
Raised on the edge of the jungles of Nigeria and the prairies of Illinois, executive producer Brian Wells has helped bring to life award-winning network television movies that have been enjoyed by millions and applauded by family organizations across the U.S. Although seventh grade was the worst year of Brian’s life, it helped him develop the imagination and catlike reflexes he enjoys today. This is his first novel.
What about you? As an adult, what makes a great children’s book for you?
FlyBy Promotions and Brian Wells are giving away a copy of The League and the Lantern to one of my readers!
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”