Friday, November 14, 2014

Broken Branch Falls by Tara Tyler

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Chaos erupts when Gabe sparks a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em different species can work wonders together!

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Wondering what happens after all humans disappear? Fantastical creatures develop (elves, trolls, dragons...) and their world isn't that much different than our own...well, in many respects, anyway.
The high school goblin Gabe should be intelligent, a geek and stick to his own kind. That's what all creatures do - never mingle with other species, although they go to school and live with each other everyday. They have to stick to their stereotypes too - ogres play sports and are stupid, goblins are smart and so on. Those are the rules. The moral of this tale is pretty laid out from beginning on as Gabe (by accident) turns into a leader of change. But that doesn't ruin the story at all.
Gabe is an under-dog and an unlikely hero, something that grabs a reader's sympathy from the first page on. Despite his goblinness, he and his friends are very human as are their surroundings. The world Tara builds is familiar enough to make it easy to relate to, but at the same time fantastical, allowing dreams to take flight. The high school scenes in the beginning are very detailed, but later in the story, the fantastical world opens up as Gabe and his friends embark on a journey to save and improve their way of life. This easing in was really refreshing.
Despite the fantastical world, serious high school issues are touched upon such as mobbing and unexpected (often unaccepted) relationships. I honestly found this an interesting and clever way to address these issues - very forward but at the same time, because of the imaginative world, not irritatingly preachy.
Summed up, this is a fun story for young fantasy lovers and is sure to keep them hooked to the pages until the very end.

And here she is. . .

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL


Stephanie Faris said...

Great review! She's an awesome person and a very talented writer.

ccarpinello said...

Sounds like an exciting book for young readers! Nice review. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

Renee C. said...

OMG - I love that cover - it totally cracked me up. I think importantly, the book's themes seem to cover what is important to the target age group. So I love how the author shares a story with important messages, using unique characters. Very clever! Thanks for joining us in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.