Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Sixteen by Ali B

Ali_B_TheSixteen_6_9_14FrontCover.jpgThe Sixteen by Ali B
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I absolutely love this series! The Sixteen is the second book in the Soul Jumpers Series. I highly recommend reading them in order. The Sixteen definitely picks up the pace and the action. We learn more of what Soul Jumpers are and discover something surprising about Iris. We meet new characters as the fight between good and evil continues. The author continues to stress the love and loyalty of family and expands family to those we choose as well as those we are born to. The Soul Jumpers are a family that Iris is now a part of. I love how the author has the soul age differ from the physical age and was very happy to read why that is. It was something I thought a lot about after reading Iris Brave. Be prepared...this book ends with another cliffhanger. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

The Soul Jumpers Series is written for middle graders but I am greatly enjoying it. I believe this is a wonderful series to read with your children, either aloud or just everybody on their own with family book discussions. Actually, since the author is a teacher, I think it would be awesome to see a discussion guide come out for the series. This author really is in tune with what children enjoy reading. I think a discussion guide would be a bonus for busy parents as well as something librarians could use for a middle grade book club. I would recommend this book/series to all who enjoy sci-fi fantasy.

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Iris Brave by Ali B 
IRIS BRAVE, the first in the Soul Jumpers series by Ali B., will be $.99 on Amazon today, September 25th and tomorrow September 26, 2014.
                                     


* I purchased a copy of Iris Brave to review. I received a copy of The Sixteen for review purposes, (in addition I purchased a copy for my Kindle). In both cases the opinions expressed in the reviews are my honest thoughts about the books.*

Iris Brave - Review of the children's fantasy mystery series

Iris BraveIris Brave by Ali B
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up as I was given a copy of The Sixteen, (Book 2 of the Soul Jumpers Series), for review. I felt, to be able to give it a fair review, I needed to read Book 1 first. I am so happy I did! The Soul Jumpers is a children's series geared toward middle grades. Iris is the character telling the story and the language of the book fits the characters age. Some adults may find it too simplistic but I thought it was perfect for the audience it was written to.

The story contains an interesting mystery. Iris lives with her mother and visits her grandfather for the summer. We are told early on that her father died in a car accident. This is where the mystery begins. Iris finds out that it is believed her dad caused the accident by driving under the influence. She sets out to find out the truth and comes across a mysterious guy. I do not want to say too much about it so you can discover the exact mystery for yourself.

I enjoyed the love that Iris has for her family. I was especially happy to learn that the grandpa is her father's father. Too often in children's books, when there has been a divorce or death, missing parent = missing grandparents. It was so gratifying to read about a grandparent staying in the child's life after the death of the child's parent.

I also was impressed with Iris saying she knows she is different. All children go through a time when they are growing up where they feel different. Not only does the author have the character express this but she goes on to tell us how Iris is different. I have a feeling as the series goes on we will learn more of why Iris is different.Iris also speaks of feeling the opposite of her name, Brave. We all have fears, some rational, some not. Having Iris work through hers, often with humor, is a powerful message. I think this book is filled with many positive messages. I did wonder a couple of times at the amount of freedom Iris has. However, when you think about times now, with so many parents working, a lot of middle grade children have a lot of freedom.

Soul jumping is something new for me. I read a lot of books in the paranormal/fantasy genre. It was refreshing to me to come across something still pretty unique in this genre. The mystery is not solved in this book. So be aware that you will need to buy the next book in the series to see where it goes. If your middle grader is looking for a fantasy mystery series this may be one you want to pick up. Personally I think it would be a fun series to read together.There are plenty of things that happen to Iris and decisions she makes that would be excellent conversation starters for parents and their children.

I took off one star just because I felt in a couple of places things did not transition smoothly or they felt rushed. While this interrupted the flow of my reading it did not impact my enjoyment of the book. My actual rating would be 4 and a half stars.

View all my reviews


Iris Brave by Ali B 
IRIS BRAVE, the first in the Soul Jumpers series by Ali B., will be $.99 on Amazon today, September 25th and tomorrow September 26, 2014.



Ali_B_TheSixteen_6_9_14FrontCover.jpg



You can keep up with Ali B. on her website at http://alibbooks.com/