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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*        = Good, with reservations


****Lion Boy

by Zizou Corder

Reviewed March 5, 2006.
Dial Books, New York, 2004.  275 pages.

Available at Sembach Library (J MCN F COR).

It’s hard to know how to characterize Lion Boy.  Is it Science Fiction, since it’s set in the not-too-distant future?  Or is it fantasy since Charlie Ashanti, our young hero, can speak Cat?  I went with Science Fiction, since the authors attempt to explain any wonders with science.

Charlie can speak to all animals of the cat family, including the lions on Thibaudet’s Royal Floating Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy.  This comes in handy when his parents are kidnapped for their knowledge.  Charlie goes in search of them, told by cats that they are being taken to France.  He falls in with the floating circus, which happens to be heading to Paris, and his skill with the lions is noted.

Unfortunately, the lions don’t like their life on the ship with the sinister lion trainer.  Does Charlie dare help out his new friends?

This book tells an absorbing tale.  You can’t help but like Charlie and feel for him, a small kid out in a big world.  You feel his fear when he carries out bold plans.  The one thing I don’t like is that the book ends, “To Be Continued….”  I prefer trilogies where each book gives at least a small sense of completion.  Fortunately, I waited to read this book until we had all three at the library, so I don’t have to wait to read the next two!

This is a good adventure tale with its own unique flavor, excellent for upper elementary or Middle School kids.  Of course, I say that, but I enjoyed it myself!  This might make a good bedtime read-aloud.  I like the way they put in the music for the songs that come up.

Reviews of the audio version and sequels:
LionBoy: The Chase
LionBoy: The Truth

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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