Thursday, April 21, 2011

For Those of You With Tweens

With three children in the preschool age group, I'm terribly underqualified when it comes to knowing a modern vocabulary those in the teenage set use to say something is "cool."

Not just a little cool--really, really cool.

Google tells me slammin' or hip is appropriate...but I'm still not sure. Anyone saying "It's slammin'" in my house is likely warning of imminent appendage damage...and I think my parents said things were "hip," so becoming a 60s version of my mom is just too weird.

Cool, slammin', or hip--any way you say it, G. P. Taylor's newest book The Secret of Indigo Moon is just that.

Second novel in his Dopple Ganger Chronicles series, this graphic novel is sure to entice even the most hesitant reader to consume it in one sitting.

Never a real lover of comic books, myself, I was apprehensive about how I'd like this book, especially considering the target audience is probably from about 9 years old through the early teenage years. But one of the reviews called Taylor the "new C.S. Lewis," so I wanted to see for myself.

While I'll admit I found it hard to get into at first since I hadn't read the first in the series, I quickly grew to love the mix of comic book graphics interspersed with regular pages of paragraphs. I also was sucked into the rapid-action much so that I couldn't put it down even when my children got up from their naps.

As far as the story, three children--Erik Morrisssey & twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple--uncover a series of tunnels beneath their school and the surrounding houses, interrupt a robbery, and place themselves in imminent danger. This fast-paced plot is complimented by a slower subplot with the C.S. Lewis-esque storyline.

In it, Saskia prays to a female angel named Madame Raphael for help and later prays to one whom Raphael introduces as "the Companion." Initially, no one believes Saskia because they have not seen the angel, which leads to a great platform for discussing faith in the midst of unbelief as well as why some can easily spiritually see what others cannot.

While I realize Scripture doesn't mention female angels, that's not that huge a deal for me here, especially considering I think they're actually non-gendered beings. If I have one critique of the novel, it's that the C.S. Lewis-esque subplot components are too heavily weighted in the second half of the book...and even then, they are not a significant enough part of the text for true Lewis fans.

But with that said, I still would recommend the book to any parent of tweens. It's fun. Its graphic art is sure to get them reading. And it preaches without preaching too hard.

* I receive nothing for my review except for a complementary copy of the book from Tyndale Publishers.

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