Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Secrets of Droon Series by Tony Abbott


I usually prefer to rate books individually, but this series seems to be so much like the Magic Tree House series that I think I will rate this series similarly - as a series.

So far I've only read the first book, The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet, and I will update this review if anything new worth mentioning comes up as I read additional books.

I came across this series at the library while looking for a chapter book series for Sebastien. When Isabelle first started to read independently, she got hooked into reading by devouring the Ivy + Bean series and the Rainbow Magic series, among others. There were so many beginner chapter books about little girls or fairies or magical animals, that Isabelle never had to look far to find a new book to read. Now that Sebastien is ready for chapter books, however, I am having a hard time finding an appropriately leveled non-girly series that will interest him! The Magic Tree House books would be an easy choice, except that we already read most of them together out loud, and he's not interested in going back to continue the series on his own.

Enter The Secrets of Droon. So far, it seems to be just like the Magic Tree House, only different. Instead of a brother and sister pair, it's a trio of friends consisting of two boys and a girl. Instead of a tree house that magically transports the children to both real and imaginary places, there's a magical staircase that leads to the fictional world of Droon. The kids have their adventures, and when they return to their own world, it's as if no time has passed at all.

Like the Magic Tree House books, these books are divided into short chapters, and the reading level is perfect for emerging independent readers. Oddly, this first book is also similar to the early Magic Tree House books in its inexplicably cavalier use of sentence fragments. For example:

Page 4: He stepped into the other side of the basement. The room on the left side of the stairs. The side his father was going to remodel.

Anyway, Sebastien happily read the first two books of the series, and he's keen on reading more. We'll see if it holds his interest!

Update - 12/10/14: Well, I've just finished book #11, and I think I will upgrade my rating to 3 1/2 stars. While the books continue to have a bothersome number of incomplete sentences, I have been impressed by the overarching narrative that drives the series. In fact, there are two major story lines, perhaps somehow related: the effort to defeat the evil Lord Sparr, and the effort to find Keeah's mother and free her from an evil spell. Each book is a stand-alone adventure in which we meet new characters in Droon - sometimes a new species, sometimes an evil-doer, sometimes a friend - but at the end of each book there is always a nugget of foreshadowing about the next book. It took me a while to get through the first several books, but a friend of mine whose taste in books I respect assured me that even though the series starts kind of slow, it really is a worthy read. So, I won't give up on the series yet!

No comments:

Post a Comment