Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Camelot Kids (book review)

Title: The Camelot Kids
Author: Ben Zackheim, @zackheim - Illustrations/design by Nathan Fox, Ian Greenlee

Genre: Juvenile Fantasy
Plot:  What would you do if an odd girl in a hooded cloak said, "You know you're a descendant of King Arthur's knight, Lancelot, right?" You'd probably do the same thing 14-year-old orphan Simon Sharp does: back away nice and slow. The difference is Simon's Camelot-obsessed parents recently died under mysterious circumstances.

But he learns the truth about their fate and his heritage after he's kidnapped by a drunk troll, rescued by a 7-foot elderly man named Merlin, and thrown into training with 149 other heirs of the Knights of the Round Table. Can Simon survive a prophecy that predicts the world will be saved through its destruction? Can he do it while clues keep popping up that his parents are alive?

The Camelot Kids is about one boy's struggle to solve a mystery and make it to tomorrow in a world both real and fantastic.

Why I Chose It:  Orphans.  You know I love stories about plucky orphans.  Here is a look at the book trailer so you can learn more about Simon Sharp.  

Audience: I am a prime example of an adult who never stopped enjoying juvenile fiction but when I read that the book begins with the hero being asked if he knows he's descended from King Arthur, I knew my sixth grade nephew Christopher was the perfect audience for this book and invited him to assist with the review. Christopher and his brother have loved knights and books about knights since they first began forming sentences about swordy guys as toddlers.  
Christopher's Take:   The Camelot Kids is a novel by Ben Zackheim about a 12-year-old boy named Simon Sharp. It is the first in a series. Simon’s parents died in a plane crash 2 years ago, and this lengthy story follows his journey from the streets of New York to the castle of New Camelot. Simon is sent to his eccentric Grandfather Victor, but meets a girl named Maille who tells him he is descended from Sir Lancelot. After being captured by a drunk troll and rescued by a fearsome 7 foot tall wizard, Simon is brought to New Camelot, the one place he really belongs. À la Harry Potter and Percy Jackson mashed together, Simon taps into his powers, then enrolls in an academy for aspiring knights. 

Christopher said the characters are interesting and well developed, and he felt they would continue to develop in the course of the series. He found the plot convincing and humorous, although felt at times the humor was a bit clunky. The ending was a cliffhanger for future books in the series and left him wanting to read more. While Christopher liked the King Arthur theme, he said that was not the key to enjoying the book. What he liked best were the characters. He also felt it was more targeted to middle graders than a YA audience; in fact, he said he would share it with his 4th grade brother.

Author: Zackheim is also the author of the Shirley Link girl detective mystery series.  After reading The Camelot Kids, I had already guessed he is an avid gamer but his enthusiasm for his readers is very charming.  I hope some of his young fans visit the Writer Tips on his website.

Source: I received The Camelot Kids from the TLC Book Tours in return for an honest review and invite you to visit other stops on the tour to read other perspectives on this entertaining book.

Monday, February 16th: Sweet Southern Home
Wednesday, February 18th: Walking in Faith
Monday, February 23rd: Jancee Reads
Wednesday, February 25th: Books Reviews by Lanise Brown
Thursday, February 26th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, February 27th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, March 3rd: Mom in Love With Fiction
Wednesday, March 11th: Once Upon a YA book
Thursday, February 12th: Ms. Bookish
Wednesday, March 18th: Nighttime ReadingCenter 

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1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I loved seeing Christopher's thoughts on this book! Thanks for sharing the book with him and including him in your review for the tour!