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The Legend Of Koolura Paperback – February 25, 2012
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Will Koolura realize and learn to use these powers to stop her stalker who is determined to retrieve her unrealized COOL powers with the mysterious decoolerizer before it is too late?
The hour approaches for her final confrontation with her nemesis, the stalker believed to be responsible for her mother’s death.
Koolura is a pretty savvy kid for a sixth grader, she is kind, smart, and just wants to fit in. Most of the story is told through her eyes so we know her thoughts and feelings. As her COOL powers are starting to kick-in, she becomes more conscientious about her surroundings along with developing insight into her classmates’ personalities and the problems they are trying to cope with as well as her own. Michael Thal has done a good job simplifying the dynamics of relationships so that middle-grade-aged children will have a better understanding of how people cope or struggle differently with the same problems.
I was proud of Koolura when she decided she liked the people and community she lived in and didn’t want to move again despite the threat of her stalker. Then I became frightened for her safety when she decided to face this man on her own. He was after all one twisted sociopath and we were allowed to view parts of the story through his eyes also.
I did feel like the story dragged a bit in the middle and I wished there was more time devoted to Koolura testing and experimenting with her developing COOL powers. Other than that this story is packed full of life lessons that will enhance developing minds of young readers everywhere.
Format/Typo Issues: No significant issues.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** October 28, 2013
The book is a relaxing read. You know that the author won't startle you or flip a character through an extreme makeover. Even with a stalker in this book, we don't really fear for Koolura's health or well-being. We all know she's going to be okay. Although a bit of a drag at times, the back story on a teacher handling a class (11-year-olds) and these students interacting with each other added some nice context to this novel.
The only minor suggestions I have for this book are; 1) tighten the pacing a bit more, 2) perhaps have the "bad guy" find some other long-term adventure (or critical need personally important to him) for the first eleven years of Koolura's life, so it makes sense when he does appear when he does in this book, and 3) get a smashing new cover.
Bravo, Mr. Thal!
Michael L. Thal presents a delightful tale of a girl looking to belong while also facing the beginning of puberty and making new friends after yet another move. Her happiness is never complete, as she might have to leave her newfound contentment and settle in yet another school in an attempt to avoid the man stalking her. Thal combines a multi-cultural group with many of the same goals into a group of close friends who will do anything for each other. He touches on subjects not usually approached in middle grade, in such a way as to make them easy to understand.
I found this to be a delightful tale children from ages eight to twelve will enjoy. They'll sympathize with Koolura's determination to stay in her new school, and cheer when she uses her ingenuity to stop her stalker permanently. Parents will also enjoy this story, and it is a good way for families to open up about subjects they find difficult to approach.