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Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse Hardcover – September 9, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: Bran Hambric
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; First Edition edition (September 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402218575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402218576
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—Bran Hambric is a foundling, left in a bank vault and taken in by Sewey and Mabel Wilomas, who live in the town of Dunce. In an effort to preserve the decency of the community, the town has banned even the mere mention of magic. During a harrowing accident involving a truck at the Duncelander Fair, Bran discovers that he is a mage. He also has to face the difficult truth that his mother was a mage as well as a criminal, in league with an underground group with a rather gruesome plan to overthrow the Mages Council. Bran discovers that people are trying to find him so that they can use him to help finish the job she started. This book is a clear reflection of the influence of the "Harry Potter" books on a new generation of writers. Sadly, the author's attempts at creative language and original ideas come across as silly. Nation creates a contemporary world that is a tool for social satire, but that feels flat and uninteresting. Beyond quirks of dialogue, he gives no real sense of who the characters really are, so it is difficult to have any empathy when they are injured or appear to have died.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO END

From Booklist

There’s much that 14-year-old Bran Hambric can’t explain about his life, beginning with why he has no memories that date before he was found in a bank vault at age six. Although he lives with the Wilomas family in Dunce, where magic is forbidden, Bran discovers that he possesses magical abilities, and with the help of an underground magical community, he begins to learn about his past, including difficult truths about his real family, as well as a dastardly plan that threatens himself and many others he cares for. Incorporating magic, mystery, suspense, and some violence, this hefty novel is virtually impossible to read without conjuring up Harry Potter, from the outsider protagonist who finds powers and faces hard choices to the self-centered Wilomas and Voldemort-like villain. Although the pace picks up after an initial slow start, the prose is sometimes dense, and the side stories (an oppressed gnome's plight, adult characters’ experiences) add intricacy but are occasionally distracting. Nonetheless, the abundant magical elements, unexpected plot turns, and light humor will likely attract H. P. readers. Grades 6-9. --Shelle Rosenfeld

More About the Author

KALEB NATION is a producer and Internet personality. With the help of an online army known as the Nationeers, his writing and videos have been seen over 50 million times. A black belt in taekwondo, Kaleb lives in California with a cantankerous chinchilla named Chilla.

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Customer Reviews

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Kaleb Nation is truly an amazing author.
Brenda Leonard
I very much enjoyed the book Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation.
Samantha Jones
This book keeps you on your toes until the last page!
M. Grattan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Granger on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My son Timothy, age 11, devoured a book this week, a magical mystery featuring a boy wizard written by Kaleb Nation, age 20. The book, Bran Hambric: The Fairfield Curse, was published in September, and, judging from sales and Timothy's enthusiasm about the book, I suspect we have, if not the "next Harry Potter" (how many times have we heard that prediction?), perhaps another Artemis Fowl or Percy Jackson. Which would be very good news indeed.

The recommended age range for the book is 9-12 so I thought you might be interested in Timothy's thoughts about the book which is touted as a book by a very young man. Timothy wrote the review as a Hogwarts Professor dot com guest post. He read all 464 pages of Bran Hambric in three days and has this to say:

Timothy's Bran Hambric Review

When I first saw the book, Bran Hambric, I did not think, frankly, that it was anything I would be interested in. But then, when I asked Dad what the book was about, he read the back cover to me and I was immediately curious. I mean who is not intrigued when they hear the questions, "What if Your Mother was a Criminal? What if Her Crime was Magic? What if Magic ran in the Family?"

So I started to read the book and found that it reminded me of Harry Potter, the books along with Redwall, Eragon, and Artemis Fowl, that I know best. In the beginning, for example, Bran's only parent dies, he has his mother's eyes, and Bran is taken into the care of two of the meanest people in the city. These parents give their greedy little children everything they wanted (except, of course, the MEGAMES MAXIMAS that Balder wanted so much). Bran can do magic, but he does not know it. Just like Harry, right?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teacherrates on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Please understand that all my reviews focus on the interests of my middle school students. I never do a full plot synopsis in a review.

There are enough reviews of the book published here for anyone to figure out if they want to try it. I will only add that it and the sequel are among my favorites. I think the hero, Bran, ranks right up there with Percy, Leven, Henry York, Artemis, Alex, Seth (of Fablehaven), Michael Vey, Jesse Fisher, etc. But enough about the book. What I really wanted to write about is the soundtrack that goes with the book.

I love the soundtrack. Kaleb Nation, the author of the book, composed, published, and performed all the songs. I mean, this young Texan is some kind of genius. I had to reread the book (at least the sections about which the songs were written). I thrilled to "Emry's Escape." I loved the images the song "A Boy Named Bran" brought to my mind. "The Box in the Bookstore" absolutely captures the mood of that scene. I could go on; every song seems to perfectly encapsulate the exact essence of the scene it celebrates.

The songs were performed using a keyboard and digital technology, a bit like Mannheim Steamroller (if you know the group) but not as elaborate. They have, to my ear, a Vivaldi-like sound that is at once soothing, moving, and exciting. Do yourself a favor and Google this soundtrack to sample the songs.

My students enter my room to the music of David Garrett, Bond, Escalade, Vanessa May, Lindsey Stirling, the Piano Guys, traditional classical, Bruno Mars, Trans Siberian Orchestra, current pop, etc., while they go to their seats and begin their bellringers. I will definitely add Kaleb Nation to the mix this coming school year.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Justin B. on September 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've had a long history with Kaleb Nation's blog where he's accounted his experience with reading "Twilight," as a male. From that, I've always seen that he has the skills for writing and has the ability to greatly entertain his readers with his unique sense of humor. With that, I really wanted to love this book and very much tried to find some pro's. But being a scrupulous reader definitely causes one to sight the flaws more so than the pro's within any piece of writing. And with this one, there were some very noticeable flaws that greatly detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I appreciate the effort that Kaleb Nation put within this story and understand the ardor of writing. Hopefully I'll be able to point out some of the positive elements of the story to not overwhelm the readers of this with a listing of all the negatives.

First off, the story begins with Embry Hambric futilely trying to run from a pair of men who seem to be chasing her for some unknown reason. This beginning initially brought to my attention the dryness of the writing. Everything seemed more like an instructional guide to inform readers of essential information for understanding the story. Rather than providing a beginning that immediately immerses the reader into the action of the story, it's a very cliche ridden beginning that seemed to lack excitement and emotion. The dialogue especially seemed stale and noticeably uninspired.As a reader, it was hard for me to grasp the intensity of Embry emotions as she desperately decides how to save her son. Instead, I felt that I had to formulate those feelings myself. Since Kaleb's writing seemed not able to evoke those feelings. Writing beginning chapters is definitely a difficult task because there's so many options for a writer to choose from on how to begin the story.
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