Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Return to Echo Woods" by Lucky Maxwill!

Hiya peeps! I've got a new review for you today, of a middle-grade story full of charm and magic. Check it out, and be sure to let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

Return to Echo Woods

 Return to Echo Woods
~Author: Lucky Maxwill

~Released: November 27th, 2017

~Publisher: Balboa Press

~Length: 152 Pages

~Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Young Adult

Return to Echo Woods is the introductory tale of people, animals, and adventures in fictional Loral County in Missouri. This rural area is a place where normal activities are not exactly as they appear because of a clever elf named Sam, who has hidden agendas and is only visible to a select population. He is especially perplexing to newcomer Audry Merryweather, a young woman who moves to Echo Woods to take ownership of her family’s historical homestead. Here she unwittingly becomes an accomplice in Sam’s efforts to shelter and provide forever homes for animals. But, she is not alone. Sam is quite resourceful and has many allies with diverse talents—everybody from an animal control officer to a youth home coordinator and even a red-tailed hawk. Altogether, they combat bullies, overcome challenges, and provide a community where all can call home. 

Woven within this tale are historical and geographical Missouri references that are hyperlinked to web resources. These offer superior supplemental reading materials for students and educators alike. Subtle humanitarian messages regarding animal welfare and culture, as well as Missouri history, make this a value-added book for young readers.

Charming middle-grade fantasy.

Audrey had no idea what she was in for when she moved to rural Missouri, but Sam definitely wasn't part of it. When he pops into her kitchen uninvited, her whole life path changes, and she meets wonderful friends, with an important goal.

Providing homes for animals is a passion for Sam, and he's got the whole community behind him, even if most don't know it's him they're behind. As a clever little elf, he spins magic in the little community to fight bullies, help orphaned animals, and keep Loral County a wonderful place to live. Along with some other new friends, Audrey finds not only her forever home, but love as well.

With hints of classics like Redwall and Anne of Green Gables, this tale is charming and down-to-Earth. With subtle lessons teaching morals, it's a natural choice for middle-school readers. With hyperlinked resources in the digital editions, it adds a layer of education to the story, giving the book a little something special. If the overall story doesn't pull you in and keep you, the charismatic characters certainly will.

I'm thankful to the author for the opportunity to read this book. I would highly recommend it to age-appropriate readers, and wouldn't be surprised if it's incorporated into school reading lists.

*I was given a complimentary eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

What do you think of this book? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

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