The Adventures of Zoe Flynn & Alex Everhart: The Disappearing River

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

*Authors David and Gail Mittan's MakeThinkers format, which gives children the opportunity to use critical thinking at chapter breaks, transforms the reading experience from passive to active  
*While I had to force my kid to finish reading this book with me, he did enjoy the challenge presented by trying to solve the crafty riddles
*The inspirational quotes by famous people seem age-inappropriate to me by about five years or so, but since it's all about MakeThinking, I'm gonna give it a pass

*My son mockingly laughed at most of the place and tribe names; methinks they're just a tad goofier than necessary
*There are a couple of instances where the story pauses in-chapter to make room for an italicized question...I found these distracting and felt they should have been included within the chapter break segments instead
*I will never be a fan of generic throwaway closing paragraphs whose primary and secondary purpose is to hype up the possibility of future books


All you need to know about this effort can be gleaned from the title itself.  Just look at how long that thing is!  Go ahead and say it out loud and tell me you don't think it sounds unwieldy.  Unfortunately, the story gives off a similar vibe.  Now I realize that I shouldn't hold it against the authors for submitting something that is significantly longer than almost any other book on this site.  That said, the entire time I was reading it, I found myself coming up with ways to boil it down and condense it.  Lord knows, my seven-year-old tackles hardcovers way longer than this.  So for him to lose interest about halfway through must mean something, right?  Okay, this review is coming off more rude than I want it to, so let's put a fork in this River.  In short, I really liked the real-world methodology, but felt like it was hamstrung by the fictional universe it was forced to revolve around.  UPDATE: after speaking with the authors, I've been informed that their book(s) are intended to be digested one chapter at a time.  In fairness to them, I am including a link that details what they're trying to accomplish.  Please visit it to give the Mittans the honest shake they deserve.  

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy

1 comment:

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