Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week 2 Middle Grade Book Club: Leviathan by Dalen Keys

Middle Grade Fiction Book Club.egg  on Aviary

It's Here!

Welcome to the 3rd annual Middle Grade Summer Book Club and I think I have some GREAT books lined up for kids to read this summer... we have some mystery, chic books, and some great ones for guys & girls! Check out this great read!

Week 2: Leviathan
by Dalen Keys
ISBN: 978-1937756765
Age 9-13, 216 pages 
$12.06 (paperback)

About the book:
Acts of valor endure across the centuries . . . waiting, as secrets in a grave from long ago.

From his adventures in The Sacred Mountain (Deep River Books 2011) fourteen-year-old skateboarder Will Evans learned to love history. Now, while visiting a civil war museum in the South, Will and his friends become fascinated by an old sword on display bearing the emblem of a sea monster. When they stumble upon the same strange emblem again—this time, on a tombstone near the ruins of a plantation home—the friends are swept up on an exciting journey of discovery.

As clues to the mystery of Leviathan unfold, they meet Juanita, a wise African American woman, and her son Michael, and relive the dangerous quest of those who risked their lives to help slaves escape many years ago. But what does Leviathan have to do with slavery, racism, and segregation? And what does any of it have to do with a young skateboarder from Philadelphia?

Unexpected twists lead to surprising discoveries, as Will and his friends learn from the past what it means to stand strong and courageous today.

My thoughts:
Leviathan. I'll be honest I really didn't know what to expect when I received this book. The write up I received from the publisher & the back of the book sounded great and very interesting since it was about history and the lives of people who made an effort to make a difference in the lives of others but when I saw the cover I was like ho hum and then I began to read...

The writing and the dialogue weren't what caught my attention but the Civil War background and the story of the people who helped save escaping slaves is wonderful. It's a great way to introduce young people to that sad period of American History and a perfect opportunity for parents to open discussion for how we can help others who need help in so many ways. There are sections of the book that take the reader to a battle field and the story overlaps with actual battles that are about to take place and show the emotions and feelings of a 15 year old bugler during the war and some of the other soldiers, there is the story of a woman and her "staff" (yes, she refused to call them slaves or servants even) and how she set into motion a group of men who committed their lives to keeping secret how she helped slaves escape.

This is a very interesting story and I would love to read The Sacred Mountain which is the first book in this series. Very very interesting. I would say this book is for kids that have strong reading skills and the ability to stick to what they are reading. I found the dialogue a little hard to read personally but I think kids would definitely connect with this story if they enjoy history and "true story" type books about heroes.

Read on:
Be sure to check out the other books in this years Middle Grade Book Club. They have all been donated by either the authors or publishers as some of the best of the best Middle Grade Fiction that has come out this year!

Week 1: The Cats of Tanglewood Forest (order) (my review)
Week 2: Leviathan (order) (my review)
Week 3: The Lily Series: Lily Robbins, MD (order) (my review)
Week 4: Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel (order) (my review)
Week 5: The Phoenix Files (order) (my review)

Week 6: Unleashed (order) (my review)
The annual Summer Book Club Giveaway!
You can enter our great Summer Book Club Giveaway which will be drawn on August 1st - just in time for the last few weeks of summer when kids start to get bored and need something new to do. This year we will be running it a little different since I am officially without a computer (thanks to Malware & a nasty virus which wiped out my registry) -
How to Enter:
Each week return to CCB to read that week's review and enter that week's entry question. Each week there will be a mandatory question (as well as the usual provide your FULL Contact information) - without the contact information your answers and entries will be deleted. You'll also have the opportunity to enter via Tweeting, posting on FB and Sharing on any of the numerous linkies that are available. The non-mandatory entries are extras that you have the choice of getting extra entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of the book to read and review on CCB. I was not required to post a positive review and no $ exchanged hands. Thanks for reading CCB!


  1. Dr. Timson is Dad's old college friend and an archaeologist. He's excavating an old Indian village in Arizona.

  2. He is an old friend and archaeologist- He is excavating at the site of an old Indian villiage.

  3. I'd love to read "You! A Christian Girl's Guide to Growing Up"!

  4. When I was a teenager, I spent 6 weeks in Japan, staying with a Japanese family. It was the experience of a lifetime! I still talk about it, more than 30 years later. I have stayed in touch with the family and hope to visit again some day.

  5. I am most interested in "Unleash" because I am currently reading the first book in this series: "Taken."