To tell you about this book, first I need to give you a bit of background. I have two children, as many of you know. I have a six-year-old daughter who LOVES books, and reads constantly. She has her favorites, as most children do, and those will probably be reduced to shreds by the time she outgrows them.
I also have a son, and at twelve, he’s the total opposite of my daughter. He doesn’t like school, he hates writing, and above all, he HATES reading. It’s considered a punishment when we try to get him to read, in fact. Not by us, of course, but by him. He has some books he enjoys, but in general he can’t be bothered to do anything that might involve learning.
Discussing this with Jeffrey Hollar and his wife, Lisa McCourt Hollar, I was given a copy of Keldane the Cursed. This is not your typical children’s story, but the hope is that he will fall in love with reading.
***Note: my son has yet to read this, as I’m having trouble with my tablet, but there will be a second blog post to follow on this topic once he’s done so.***
Reading has never been easy for my son. Most things aren’t. If it’s too hard, he just gives up. He has ADHD on top of that, and that plays a part as well with his lack of reading. He just doesn’t like to focus long enough to finish a book.
Before passing it to my son, I wanted to read it myself to see where it sits for his level. He’s twelve, yes, but he’s a very young twelve. He loved the first Harry Potter movie, but the others were darker and they scare him. But the idea of magic, of wizards, appealed to him. So without further ado, I give you MY review of Keldane the Cursed, by Jeffrey Hollar, with my son’s review to follow shortly.
Did you ever wish you had the ability to use magic and cast spells to do anything you wanted to? Well, so does Keldane. Unfortunately, just being the son of the most powerful magic user the world has ever known doesn’t come with any guarantees. It’s not without very good cause he’s known to his classmates as Keldane the Cursed.
Keldane is a ten-year-old boy, with problems that far surpass those of other boys his age. After all, his father is THE most powerful wizard in the world. That in itself is tough to live up to, but it’s worse when you’re Keldane the Cursed.
Keldane is still learning. He’s in his first year of school, the year where all who aren’t worthy are weeded out. When the wheat is separated from the chaff. And Keldane may very well be the worst of the chaff before all is said and done.
Keldane tries his hardest, All he wants is live up to the legacy his father has built, but those are awfully big shoes to fill. Keldane can’t do anything right. His every spell goes awry, made harder by the ridicule heaped upon him by Barnabas, a giant vampire bat who’s also the family retainer. It doesn’t help, either, that most of the spells that go awry seem to lead to something horrible happening to Barnabas.
But this book teaches a valuable lesson. Yes, Keldane makes mistakes. In fact, those mistakes are so huge that a new word may need to be invented just to sum them all up. But no matter how often he fails, no matter how horrible those mistakes may be, Keldane never stops trying. He never gives up. And he wants so badly to succeed, that even as you laugh along with him, and at him, you cheer him on, wanting nothing more than to see him reach his full potential.
A fantastic book for all children, and for parents who are children at heart. The story is well-told, and the illustrations are beautifully done. I gladly give this book five stars and I’m waiting eagerly for more! If your child loves all things magical but Harry Potter is too advanced for them, then download Keldane the Cursed, and enjoy a good, hearty belly laugh. I did!
And stop by his author page to give him a ‘like’!