Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Review: Mightier Than The Sword by Drew Callander and Alana Harrison


MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD
by Drew Callander and 
Alan Harrison
Penguin Workshop
Middle Grade Fantasy/Adventure
320 pages







Wildly funny and inventive, this interactive book pulls you, the reader, into the action. Yes, YOU!

You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You're a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story!

Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers--a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon--you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure that is unique to every reader! And most importantly, you must prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.
 



 MY TIDBITS

Ready for a mega-blast of originality and super fun? Because that's exactly what this book is. Grumpy and serious are words which don't exist in this wild adventure, which stars the most amazing hero in the universe...and does it well.

You...yes, you, the reader, find yourself in the fantastical world of Astorya. There, you might the most amazing creatures and surprises, but none of them believe you to be a 'real' human. It is a world of fiction, after all. But real humans have a unique superpower, which means you do too. The power of the pencil. Everything you write on paper comes true, and that gives you the perfect weapon to begin the most amazing, hair-brained, ridiculous and dangerous adventure ever.

This book/series is hitting my top ten favorite list for 2019. While I first thought this was another choose your own adventure type of tale, it's not. Written in present tense with 'you' as the main character, it's already in a class of its own...and a good one. The authors pull this combination through seamlessly and really build an amazing story, which flows and draws in. The reader is invited to scribble in the book, solve puzzles, fill in the blanks and all sorts of other things. And each of these activities is related to the story. Although every reader will add their own thoughts and personality, the tale is so well done, that it works.

Fantasy and imagination have literally no limits in these pages. Rather, ridiculous quirkiness and humor in the best and worst degree unfold constantly. The characters are not what you'd ever guess and the adventure takes turns which will have the reader giggling, snorting, wondering what just happened or simply rolling their eyes. It's a royal ton of fun and probably the most ludicrous tale you might ever run across. Add the large amount of illustrations—always a treat—and this one is definitely worth a read.


AND...
COMING...
NOVEMBER 5th, 2019!!!



THE EDGE OF THE WORD
Mightier Than The Sword, #2
by Drew Callander and
Alana Harrison
Penguin Workshop
Middle Grade Fantasy/Adventure
336 pages




The second book set in Astorya places you back in the driver's seat. You're a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil, you have the power to create. What you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story!

You must journey to Astorya's Other Side, a place of monsters and mayhem, to hide the Original original forever. Surely nothing bad could happen to Astorya's precious document there, right? But when the plan goes awry and digital doppelgangers are unleashed on the world, once again only you can save the day.

Write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure story that is unique to every reader! And, most importantly, prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.




TIDBITS
(my 14 year old son's, not mine)

Since my review pile has long surmounted the roof of the house—and my 14-year-old son had snatched up this one when I wasn't looking—I'm going to share his thoughts. For clarification, he is a Rick Riordan fan and a huge fan of The Wings of Fire series. Simply said, he devoured this book in two sittings (he does have to do homework, school and such) and found it hilarious. 

He says that the characters are crazy, the humor is weird and funny, and it's one of the strangest books he's ever read. And it was awesome. He wishes there were more books like this one and likes how the authors didn't hold to the usual 'rules'. He recommends it and thinks everyone should have a chance to read it.

Now, if that's not a great review, then I don't know what is.


And here are the authors...

A husband-and-wife team, Drew Callander and Alana Harrison have a background in acting, sketch and improv comedy. They also spent many years teaching creative writing to kids in New York City public schools through Story Pirates, a company Drew co-founded in 2003. The book was inspired by the hilarious, bizarre, and wonderful stories that come from the imaginations of children. 

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