Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Epstein, Adam Jay and Jacobson, Andrew. 2010. THE FAMILIARS. Ill. by Peter Chan and Ker Acedera. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061961083 [Suggested Grade Levels 4–6]
When you think of the world of magical animals a common thought might be of some character turning into an animal or an animal acting as a magical sidekick. Normally these magical creatures would be silent, only there to serve their master as a fun pet. That is not the case in the wildly imaginative and action-packed story, THE FAMILIARS, told from these mystical animals’ points of view
Familiars are animals with magical powers. Their counterparts are magical humans called loyals. When a loyal “finds” his familiar, the loyal’s magical powers are enhanced. A bond is formed and a familiar will do anything to protect its loyal and the same is true of the loyal.
Through a series of brushes with trouble, Aldwyn, a clever street cat, takes refuge in a shop filled with animals. Unbeknownst to him, these are magical animals destined to be familiars. Jack, a young wizard, chooses Aldwyn because of his green eyes, but Aldwyn does feel a magical connection. Kalstaff, the young wizards’ mentor, begins training Jack and his friends. They are attacked by the evil queen of Vastia and Kalstaff is killed. She captures the wizards. It is then up to the familiars to rescue their loyals.
After reading, discuss with children if they were trying to find their familiar, what would they choose and why?
Other books with magical animals:
Neff, Henry H. THE HOUND OF ROWAN: BOOK ONE OF THE TAPESTRY. ISBN 9780375838941
Rowling, J.K. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE. ISBN 0590353403
By Jane Jergensen