On the Children's Shelf: "Fablehaven" by Brandon Mull

I am friends with a family who are the best at recommending books. They are probably responsible for half of my "to be read" list. Several of my favorite books come from their recommendations as well. About two years ago, they recommended Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I added it to my to be read list, but it sat somewhere in the middle of the list unread. I picked up a copy of book one year ago, and still it sat in that pile to be read.

Finally, last week, I opened book one and started reading. Wow. That's all I can say. I could not put book one down and when I finished it, I raced to the library to get book two minutes before they closed. I just finished book two and ran to the library and picked up copies of books three, four, and fvie because I don't want to risk finishing the next one when the library is closed.

Can i just say wow again? Seriously. Wow. This book was so good. The story begins with Kendra and Seth Sorenson going to stay with their grandparents for two weeks while their parents are away. Neither sibling is looking forward to the trip as they don't know their grandparents well and have never visited their house before. Upon arrival, their grandfather gives them rules about where they can and can't go on the property, which immediately sparks Seth's interest. Why would the forest be forbidden? What is his grandfather hiding? Kendra finds small keys in her bedroom that lead to her opening a locked diary she finds on her shelf. The only message in the book is "drink the milk" (meaning the forbidden, unsafe milk that the grandfather's groundskeeper puts out daily for the bugs). A quick taste of the milk gives the gift of sight ... Kendra and Seth can now see the magical creatures that live all around them that humans normally can't see. This knowledge of magical creatures throws them into a world with magic and treaties and power and the battle between good and evil. I wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to ruin it.

I can't put this series down. It's a bit Harry Potter crossed with Keeper of the Lost Cities.The story is captivating and surprising and balances battles between good and evil with just the right number of twists. I highly recommend Brandon Mull's Fablehaven.


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