As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

July 8, 2014

THE COLOSSUS RISES by Peter Lerangis, 2013

Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die. Jack needs to find seven magic loculi that, when combined, have the power to cure him. One Problem. The loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years. Because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Ems - who cannot read enough books


That's pretty much how I was left feeling after this book. To say that it ends on a cliffhanger is a gross understatement. Luckily, it's one that has me jonesing for the next book in the series. Fall 2013 can't come soon enough!

I had a completely different experience with this book. I chose it as a classroom read aloud for my fourth graders. The trick to picking a good read aloud is to get one that's the start of a series and one that will capture the students and make them demand more. A good read aloud can spark a love of reading in reluctant readers and get your casual readers to jump into more books.

This one was PERFECT.

It was really fantastic to read THE COLOSSUS RISES out loud and see the reactions of my students. To say that they enjoyed it would also be a gross understatement. They really love being read to, but with this one, they were begging me to keep going. I think they'd have gone for an all-day read aloud if we'd been able to swing it. They laughed, they cried (for real!), they shouted, they jumped out of their chairs...perfect reactions to this book, in my opinion!

For me, I loved how Peter Lerangis pulled a genius move on us with the way he ended his chapters. Brilliant. It definitely keeps you coming back for more. They were absolutely perfect for ending as read alouds too, because my students were irate that we stopped! They just HAD to know more! A book that captures the interest of ten year olds like that is pretty darn awesome.

I loved the story, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that he incorporated the ancient wonders. See, I'm a huge geek, and the ancient wonders are all over my geekish radar. I love learning more about them, and I've actually toyed with the idea of writing a series myself. Well, now I don't need to, because this book is the start of a fantastic series. I know I couldn't do the wonders any more justice.

It's fast-paced, very appropriate for tweens, fun, and with characters that you'll come to love. I'm definitely ordering the next book in the series, and I may just read this one aloud again. My students will definitely thank me for it.

Market: Middle Grade
Language: Mild
Sensuality: None
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: death, illness, kidnapping

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