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Ravenwood Hardcover – August 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545305500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545305501
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In this otherworldly adventure, several teens struggle for survival while trying to preserve their home, a kingdom built amid the mile-high trees of Arborium. Peters (Do Not Wake the Devil) quickly establishes a sense of place and drops readers into the action by introducing Ark, a 14-year-old plumber's apprentice who accidentally overhears a treasonous plot and becomes a target to be silenced. Ark and his friend Mucum are on the run from their enemies while trying to warn the King of his imminent assassination. Their efforts take them from the very top of Arborium down into its roots, learning long-lost secrets along the way. As Ark comes into his destiny, facing off against monsters and traitors, he demonstrates what even a lowly plumber can accomplish through wits and determination. Although the heavy use of tree-related puns becomes tedious, and suggestions that Arborium might be a future Earth may leave readers with unanswered questions, the unique setting, memorable characters, and curious blend of fantasy and science fiction result in an action-filled epic with heart. Ages 9–14. (Aug.)
-Publishers Weekly Web-Exclusive Review



Power-hungry industrial city Maw is poised to decimate the last bit of natural beauty in its vicinity: the
Ravenwood, a living sprawl of massive trees and woven walkways that is the airy home of the Arborians.
The only things standing between the Arborians and Maw are a young plumber\u2019s assistant named Ark, his
blustery friend Mucum, and the magic of the wood itself. This is a classic tale in a number of ways, from
the buddy relationship (optimistic hero accompanied by a roughneck sidekick) to the struggle between
nature and man\u2019s drive to tame it for his own needs. There is imaginative, consistent world building here,
although at times Peters gets overly clever; for instance, the tree-inhabiting Arborians occasionally
exclaim \u201cBuddy Holly!\u201d and use \u201cbe-leaf\u201d for belief. There is also quite a bit of mucking about in sewagerelated
situations as well as a budding love story—something for both genders, perhaps. Use this as a readaloud
for middle- or upper-elementary students, or give to those who enjoy quest stories.
— Cindy Welch, Booklist Advanced Review

About the Author

ANDREW PETERS was born in Hildesheim, Germany, and raised in London, England. He has been climbing up and talking to trees ever since childhood. He now lives in Shropshire, England, with his wife and two children of their own.

Customer Reviews

If you like fantasy books...this is a good one to read.
M. Richards
By the end of the book, I felt like I understood what made each boy tick, both the good and the bad.
Heidi Grange
I just got tired of the pacing and I never felt grabbed by the book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Smith VINE VOICE on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am not sure of what to say about this book-
Did I enjoy it? Yes.
Would I give it to someone grades 4-9 (suggested reader grades)? Maybe not (especially someone on the younger side). There is some major violence (including descriptions of dead bodies and bloody scenes).
Was it well written? Yes and No. There are things that are unexplained (maybe in the next book?), things that are happening that we are just supposed to accept (like the main character discovering he has can control wood, but is no more phased by it than we are apparently supposed to be), and then there are passages that are so wonderfully written that you loose yourself in the story and forget that you are reading a YA book.

Overall- it was a very interesting story that needed more plot development (so there wouldn't be so many holes). I enjoyed the characters- they were all unique and well developed. But would not recommend it for the younger young adults- I think it is more appropriate for older children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mindy VINE VOICE on October 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love fantasy novels, especially YA fantasy so I picked this up based on the interesting product description. Turns out that Ravenwood was not bad, but sadly, it wasn't good either.

First, I had a hard time getting into the book. There was plenty of action going on, but I just wasn't excited. The many times where Ark's (the protagonist's) life was in danger, I was never concerned. The cliff hanger chapter endings didn't make me anxious to find out what happens next.

What made it difficult to get into? I'm not sure. Maybe it was a little too recycled. That Ark was, conveniently, a foundling and no one knows who his real parents are? That plot device has been beaten to death, along with the fabled lost twin. There were also times when the plot felt unnatural. Example: Ark is trying to get to the King to warn him of imminent danger. To do that he needs to divert a guard while his friend slinks past to get into the manhole. Well, right at the desperate moment a bunch of girls come clamoring to get the guard's autograph and Ark slips through. Why are people clamoring for a guard's autograph?

There were many instances similar to that which took away from the experience for me, which is too bad because I really wanted to like it. Obviously, I'm in the minority here so perhaps it's just a matter of differing tastes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Matteson VINE VOICE on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book thinking it would be fun for my granddaughter who is 8 going on 9 as the recommended age was 10-14 years old. However, I found much of the language -- while somewhat disguised -- and habits of the young heroes in the story were pretty atrocious as were many of the plot points.

Arborium is a world in an skyscraper size tree with the lowest level a mile above the ground. Generations have lived here and they have a king in a castle and other councilmen who rule within their area. Ark is a young plumber's apprentice having taken over from his father who had to retire. Ark is only 14 years old and is very thin. He is called to Councilman Grasp's building and while he is in the utility room he overhears through the pipes and vents a conversation between the Councilman and a representative of Maw -- a very huge industrial city. They are plotting to get rid of the King and destroy Arborium! Unfortunately for Ark, he is discovered and has to run for his life and appears to the guards after him to have fallen off the tree.

However, Ark is clever and had taken a rope from his belt and fixed it a little below and under that walkway and thus did not fall to the ground but hid out of sight. However, now Ark needs to sneak back home and tell his parents and figure out how to get the information to the King.

How Ark and a friend of his, Mucum, have so many adventures is a fascinating tale. I did not like though that Ark's friend who is the son of the councilman and also 14 was sneaking smokes and other things of that nature. I think an older youth would enjoy this book more than a 10 or 11 year old who might be shocked by the thinly disguised language and the many VERY scary instances that happen to Ark.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Word Lover VINE VOICE on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you're looking for a well-crafted fantasy novel, perhaps for your son or daughter, you will enjoy Ravenwood, which is well-written and action-packed. The protagnoist, Ark, is smart and appealing, and you will ride the roll coaster with his escapades.

Is this book the next Harry Potter? No, not quite. There are a few too many melodramatic turns--a lost twin, for exzmple. But the world of trees created by author Andrew Peters will resonate for readers, who will never again look at at a forest or even a park in quite the same way.

This book will spark imaginations, and that's saying a lot. And did I mention the cover? It's spectacular.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on August 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The cover is gorgeous. The characters are unique and interesting, and their growth seems real with the exception of a couple of places where characters do things that are very out of character and it doesn't seem quite believable. But the world is to dream about (as long as you are not afraid of heights, like me). I did struggle with the writing somewhat. I'm not sure if the author just has a unique style or if the phrasing was too British, but the writing didn't flow the way it could have.

I thought it was interesting that the author presents the reader with the experiences of not only the hero, Ark, but his archnemisis, Petronio. By the end of the book, I felt like I understood what made each boy tick, both the good and the bad. The plot was slower at the beginning, which makes sense, since the author has to present the reader with a picture of the world and the conditions under which it exists. The last third of the book definitely picks up the pace, I almost felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me. The last part of the book is also much darker, as Ark is faced with having to fight a battle he would rather not fight. The fact is war is ugly however you look at it and Peters depiction of it feels very real. The scenes at the end were almost to much for me, but would undoubtedly be just right for someone who doesn't mind that sort of thing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Andrew Fusek Peters, also writing as Andrew Peters has written and edited over 100 books - picture books, storybooks, graphic novels, plays, poetry, anthologies and fiction, published in 17 languages. He writes many of his books with his wife Polly. His novel Ravenwood was taken on by the editor who signed J.K.Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. It is published in the US with Scholastic in both hardback and Kindle edition, with BBC audiobook also available on Amazon. Ravenwood is out in the UK with Chickenhouse and rights have sold to 16 countries. The sequel, The Glass Forest, is now published both in paperback and as BBC audio book. Andrew has been touring his Ravenwood show worldwide, featuring an amazing costume designed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, didgeridoo, juggling and stand-up comedy. Recent appearances include Hay Festival, Cheltenham Festival of Literature and YLG.
Info on the book and tour www.ravenwoodbook.com
Ravenwood facebook page http://www.facebook.com/RavenwoodNovel
Andrew and Polly's website is www.twopeters.com

In the US, Andrew is already well-known for his award winning collaboration with Jane Yolen, Here's a Little Poem, which won an ALA Notable Award and The Claudia Lewis Poetry Award. 'A wonderful first book to read with babies and toddlers over and over again' Booklist starred review. The follow-up Switching On The Moon, a book of bedtime poems, is illustrated by Brian Karas.

'Thank you so much for the brilliantly entertaining Ravenwood performances you gave at Bolton Library. As booksellers we host a lot of children's author events but agreed that yours was the best we've ever seen. Stella Morris and Debe Conway, Sweetens Bookshop'

'Andrew Peters made a dramatic impact on us all when he visited. He played didgeridoo and mesmerised us with his engaging retelling of episodes within Ravenwood. He was utterly captivating and copies in the library have been flying off the shelves.' Roseanne Pugh, Headteacher, Onny CE Primary School

'This fantasy adventure has a wonderfully original setting - a mile-high treetop society in the last forest of the future. But it's a world under threat from evil outside influences who want Ravenwood's natural resources. It's humorously told at a cracking pace, exploring deeper themes of ecology, conservation and power.' The Bookseller.

'This is a powerful fantasy adventure fuelled by an eerie magic written by a dramatic storyteller. Magic, mystery and adventure are tightly fused in this thrilling and original drama. It's lyrical and thought-provoking, whilst being hugely enjoyable.'
Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids

'An action-packed adventure story set in the branches of giant trees; a meticulously imagined civilisation with its own religion and myths; political treachery and intrigue; heroism, and battles to the death: all are features of Andrew Peters' new novel Ravenwood. No wonder then that it is being described as an epic.' Books For Keeps

His latest poetry collection Leaves Are Like Traffic Lights, is out with Salt Publishing and also available on Amazon. He is an accomplished performer and schools visitor with his entertaining shows for all ages including juggling, didgeridoo, performance poetry and staged interactive readings from his fiction. he is also addicted to squash, wild swimming, good food and terrible puns.

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