I just finished The Warble last night; and I can't wait to tell you guys about it! It's a YA Fantasy book, but for middle-grade readers. Now, it so happens that I love this genre. I still read middle-grade books all the time. And I'm certainly proud of it. It's one of the genres that fills me with joy, and I love the imagination of the stories. So besides telling you what happens to Kristina (the main character)-- I'm going to tell you why you (or your favorite 9-13 yr old), should read this book!
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz. In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she's honored as "the chosen one," the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz's control. But it's not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous "Magic Warble," in its final resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen's "zelbocks" before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, and an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars:star :star :star :star
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a huge fan of middle grade fantasy books, and I was really happy when I won a copy of this.
The world that Simcox created is very colorful, imaginative, and seemingly familiar. The world is called Bernovem. Kristina is a 13-year old girl with no friends besides her rat Raymond and her teacher. She gets picked on a lot at school. On the day of Christmas break she gets a gift from her teacher, a mysterious hatbox. She finds a strange object inside--the warble-- and is transported to Bernovem, alone and scared. Thus the adventure begins. Kristina learns a lot through her travels as "the chosen one." Her mission (in order to get back home); is to place the warble on it's sacred spot-- thus freeing the once-beautiful, now dilapidated Bernovem and allowing the good King and Queen to rule again. But doing this is quite a challenge for Kristina, how can she defeat the evil Queen Sentiz? Prince Werrien and Kristina become best friends, and she learns a lot about true friendship. Oh, and the illustrations are superb!
Overall, I really liked the world of Bernovem. It felt very real to me, and I really felt for Kristina. I found myself inwardly screaming "No! Don't trust so-and-so!" Haha, but her naïveté melts a bit and she learns not to trust just anyone. These are important lessons that middle-grade readers should be exposed to.
What bothered me was this: I felt Kristina's classmates (the bullies) when they went through everything they did (no spoilers, so I'll leave it vague!) it's not feasible to me that after that sort of experience they would stay as mean and nasty immediately afterwards towards Kristina. It didn't feel genuine. And I guess it just bothers me too because it's more than one character. I can accept one token baddie, who won't reform no matter what-- but 3!?! Surely all 3 children were not heartless evil little buggers? Yet that's how I felt they were all through and at the end I was hoping for some redemption for them.,but none came.
That being said, it's a fantastic book. I you want a really strong fantasy novel, that is light and fun to read-- read The Warble! I can't wait to read the sequel, The Shard!