Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Middleworld

Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog on Mondays for a list of other sites featuring MG books.

Today I’ll talk about Middleworld (1st book in the Jaguar Stones series) by J&P Voelkel (aka Jon and Pamela Voelkel).

From Goodreads: Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he’s mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they’ve had a change of heart.

Upon his arrival, Max’s wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager. Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands? The scene is set for a roller-coaster ride of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!

From Vicki: A-Read (he’s 9) and I both read this one and he did a book talk on it for school (yes, he gave it 5 out of 5 stars—see some of his comments below). Middleworld is a fun adventure for boys and girls. There is a strong girl character, and a flaky boy character, and a couple of cartoonish adult characters. Will the flaky boy find his inner hero (I love when that happens) and save the world as we know it? I enjoyed reading Max and Lola’s journey through cultural faux-pas and skittishness and plain old crazy times.

Now for some of A-Read’s comments:

I was inspired to read this book because it looked interesting.

Here’s how I would describe Max: a 14 year old boy who is a vidio [sic] game extraordinaire and have crazy archeologist parents.

Here’s how I would describe Lola: a 14 year old quick thinking Maya girl who helps Max thru the jungle.

The story is about Max and Lola trying to stop Antonio de Landa from taking over the world.

He recommends it to anyone who likes adventurous stories.

What’s your favorite adventure?



Filed under Reading

14 responses to “Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Middleworld

  1. It sounds like something both boys and girls will enjoy. I’ll have to look for it and add it to my classroom library. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I hadn’t heard of this one. Nice change from all the Greek stories. And good that there’s a strong female character. Thanks for the review!

  3. Fun! This sounds like Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series.

  4. Must definitely read this one. I love adventures/fantasies set in unusual settings! Haven’t read anything Mayan yet.

  5. It looks like a fantastic story.

  6. Sounds like an awesome read! 🙂

  7. This sounds pretty great! Thanks!

  8. Alison Miller

    I LOVE adventure books! I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks!

  9. Why are the parents always crazy? lol. It sounds like MCs kids could really relate too. As for adventures, really, I like the kind that leave me surprised- pleasantly.

  10. I haven’t read YA in ages, but this one sounds like a fun adventure with its Maya underworld and zombies. I love that stuff!

  11. The rainforest always enchants my class. How cool to have a book to pop in their hands that relates to it.

  12. That sounds great! I love that you put A-Read’s comments in there. It’s so helpful to hear from an actually middle-grader.

  13. You got me at “flaky boy”. This sounds like a fun read 🙂

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