Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Today's read... Bubba and Squirt's Shield of Athena by Sherry Ellis

Today's read is the latest in a series from a very talented author friend. So far, this series has melded humor with history with culture with action with magic... Yes, it's packed with all sorts of goodness, and the author has pulled it off well. So far. I'm assuming this one won't be any different. 

One of my favorite things about this series is the cultural and historical mix. Little facts are usually sprinkled in and built into the plot in such a way that readers learn without leaving the adventure. I have recommended this series to homeschoolers in the past, since it does give a nice extra on that front. 

Anyway, lets dive in and see if this latest adventure holds as much reading fun as the rest of the series...because I hear whispers that things are heating up for this duo fast.

by Sherry Ellis
Dancing Lemur Press
Middle Grade Fantasy
114 pages
ages 8 to 12

MAY 7th!!!

A Greek Goddess and a Mythical Monster! When Bubba and Squirt travel through the mysterious vortex on a quest to save their father, they end up in Athens, Greece where they meet an old woman known as the Oracle of Delphi. Her intriguing riddles set them on a path that leads to the Netherworld, a place where danger lurks around every corner. With the help of their new friends and some unlikely allies, they must defeat the monster that holds their father captive. Will they succeed or be trapped forever in the labyrinth of the Netherworld?


With high-stakes and a race against the clock, this latest edition to the Bubba and Squirt series packs excitement, danger, and a touch of history.

Bubba and Squirt are running out of time if they hope to save their father but aren't sure what to do next. Luckily, their Grandfather has an idea and leads them to a festival, where they learn about the shield of Athena. After portaling to Greece, an oracle reveals her visions, which hold clues on how to complete the quest. These aren't only difficult to encipher, but every step of the way, the danger grows.

This is the fourth book in the series, and while the author does give a quick skim of information to help readers settle back in (and this works wonderfully), it is better to read this as a series. We meet Bubba and Squirt where they left off in the previous tale. They need to figure out how to save their father. The tension and concern hit with the very first page and set the atmosphere for the rest of the read. Bubba and Squirt are running out of time, and that stays evident the entire way through. Still, the author doesn't forget to build in the historical goodness, which gives this read its special twist.

It's off to Greece in these pages and that doesn't happen without a bit of cultural and historical information throw in. There are quick facts and explanations dropped in during the tale. These are kept very concise and short so as not to cause any stumbles during the fast-paced plot, but at the end of the book, the main aspects are revisited with a little more information for learning purposes. The world building is also kept to a minimum, allowing the action and characters to drive the adventure forward. Still, small details are dribbled in seamlessly with the action and humor to allow readers to gain a little more insight on the foreign setting and culture. The author makes sure to weave in characters, who accompany Bubba and Squirt, and let a bit more insight on the country slide in naturally as they face one situation after the next.

And let's not forget the dusting of magic. Bubba and Squirt are still figuring out how that all works in as well.

This is a lovely read, especially for the younger end of the middle grade audience. The text fits well to those who have edged out of younger chapter books and are ready for more advanced reads...but aren't quite ready to grab up a thick novel, yet. The chapters are kept short, the action propels from one page to the next, and the sentences don't over-string into huge length. Even reluctant readers won't shy away from this one.

After this exciting read, it's clear that there's more to come, and it will be fun to see where Bubba and Squirt head next.


And here she is...

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning children's author and freelance writer. Her published books include Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China, Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure, That Baby Woke Me Up AGAIN, That Mama is a Grouch, Ten Zany Birds, and Don't Feed the Elephant. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

In addition to being a writer, Sherry is also a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano. She also enjoys hiking, bike riding, and SCUBA diving.


Natalie Aguirre said...

I've been enjoying Sherry's series too. This one sounds like a fantastic addition to the series. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know that author!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you and so glad you enjoyed it!

Sherry Ellis said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I really appreciate it!