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Initiation (Sky Raider Academy Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 176 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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After his dad's death, Tommy and his mom move from California to Colorado to live with Tommy's Uncle Joe. Devastated by the loss of his dad and having to move away from his friends, Tommy reluctantly enters his new school. He is welcomed by friendly, yet eccentric teachers and staff, but it's the school bully that makes the biggest impression and leaves Tommy longing for the life he had when his dad was alive.
However, the night Tommy is catapulted to an amazing school in the sky, known as Sky Raider Academy, he has no doubt his life will never be the same. Here Tommy finally fits in and easily makes friends. He begins to find joy in life and experiences a sense of belonging. Tommy also learns that his father was part of Sky Raider Academy too and his death is far more sinister than Tommy realized. He also discovers the Academy is in terrible danger. Now, it is up to Tommy and his fellow Sky Raiders to not only save the Academy, but ultimately the world.
I found Initiation: Sky Raider Academy to be a very satisfying read. The author develops a wonderful array of characters that add to the entertainment and the intriguing plot easily captures imaginations young and old. The author also incorporates a bit of learning as Tommy and others at the Academy study clouds and weather patterns. Best of all middle grade readers will be able to identify with many aspects of the book through personal experiences which will help them feel a connection and leave them yearning for more.
Initiation: Sky Raider Academy is a great start for a book series that is sure to become a favorite among children and parents alike. A perfect addition to any homeschool or classroom library as well.
I highly recommend picking up a copy.
First up, kids who aren’t even vaguely interested in science and meteorological phenomena will be riveted by how the author has turned science into magic. After all, “magic is just misunderstood technology.” There aren’t any magic wands, but there’s a plethora of gadgets, gizmos, rides, and novel pieces of equipment to delight any kid who loves to tinker with “stuff.” There is danger, excitement, and feats of derring-do aplenty. In between all the otherworldly Sky Raider activities, Tommy fits in a normal day’s school every day. The author shines here in making real the dialogue, the problems, the events, and the interactions normal kids would have. As Tommy realises the world is bigger than he is, he starts noticing more about others; for example, his mom seems happier here on the farm now. It’s easy to turn inward and feel sorry for oneself, but Tommy rises to the occasion, especially the one that demands a final act of heroism.
There’s a large cast, but young readers won’t get confused because teachers (both at school and the Academy), family members (including Pinky the llama that eats almost anything), and friends are well defined and stand out as individuals. Hopefully, there’ll be more on them in subsequent books. I found the setting up a little slow, but considering this is to be a series, the information will serve young readers well. As an adult, I also found the meteorological and scientific details a bit too much, but looking at this book from a young reader’s point of view, I am sure that won’t be a problem. Author Kirsten Pulioff’s middle grade book, Initiation, tackles issues that children have to deal with and often struggle to cope with adequately (death, bereavement, moving, leaving friends behind, new school, bullying), as well as infusing a real world with a parallel world of fantasy, adventure, heroism, and more. I enjoyed the moment where Tommy stands up to the school bully and, in a unique way, gives him a “taste of his own medicine.” This could be seen as a book for boys, but Rachel is a very appealing sidekick and girl readers will love her character. A good start to an exciting series!
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Tommy has just moved with his mom from California to Colorado, after his father’s death.Read more