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The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic Hardcover – Deckle Edge, December 2, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Deckle Edge, December 2, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Persimmony Smudge, 10, is leading a life as dull as her name on the Island at the Center of Everything. But one day she goes out to find another magic pot (having broken the first one) and soon finds herself in the midst of a dangerous adventure. Twelve-year-old King Lucas, who loves pepper, disdains his subjects, and has a talent for rudeness, sends Persimmony, along with Worvil the Worrier and Guafnoggle the Jester, to see if there’s really a sleeping giant under Mount Majestic and, if so, to make sure he is absolutely, positively not awakened. First-time novelist Trafton uses delicious descriptions and flight-of-fancy words to put Persimmony on the path of a hero’s journey, and the story is filled with characters who make an impression. If the book gets a bit long in places, Helquist’s pencil illustrations (though at times rather sketchlike) neatly break up the text. In this tale, which would lend itself well to reading aloud, Trafton offers a fresh take on a very familiar genre. Grades 3-6. --Ilene Cooper


(Starred review) Trafton imbues her tale with a delightful sense of fun and fascinating, well-rounded characters - playful wordsmithing and flowing dialogue make this an excellent choice for bedtime read-aloud. --Publishers Weekly

There's a funny, witty read ahead .... A good book for the family to read aloud. --Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books; First Edition edition (December 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803733755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803733756
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,954,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here are some of the fine services this book will render you and your children:

1) A gentle inoculation against the kind of huffy arrogance and petulance displayed by young King Lucas the Loftier;
2) A sense of wonder as you realize that we aren't much different from these islanders who think they live at the Center of Everything;
3) A greater sense of wonder as you wonder whether there mightn't be sleeping giants in our world as in theirs;
4) A few good laughs at the antics of Guafnoggle the Rumblebump and Worvil the Worrier;
5) The sage Leafeater counsel, "If you can't say anything with your mouth shut while eating, don't say anything at all";
6) New perspectives on starfish, snoring, peppercorns and popular uprisings;
7) The timeless recognition that even a scruffy, underprivileged, unfortunately named ten-year-old in unfashionable clothes can become a great heroine by paying attention and being courageous.

I haven't begun to scratch the surface. There are walking trees, poisonous tortoises, buried treasure and a lost father, all presented in smiling, twinkle-eyed prose. Trafton has a knack for the witty juxtaposition of the unexpected turn of phrase with the expected rhythm of everyday language; you'll come to expect the unexpected and enjoy it all the more for the surprise. Her writing is contemporary, but sparkles with an almost Victorian glamour that most contemporary authors can't touch. Fantastic, in every good sense of the word!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book to read with my kids (ages 5 & 7) at bedtime. One chapter a day is our rule, but they talked me into two chapters of this book (not a hard sell), and even then I wasn't ready to quit, so I finished it after they went to sleep. I devoured it for the plot, which is delightful, exciting, and twisty. But even after a quick first read, it is clear that this novel has intricacy and depth that will be good to explore at a more leisurely pace.

Mount Majestic is worth reading for the language alone. Trafton gives us sentences worth quoting every few pages, and paragraphs you will want to read out loud, even if you're not reading it to a child (not to mention her brilliant knack at transcribing English as spoken though a very bad head cold). The characters, too, are well-drawn. They are flawed, yet heroic; they learn important lessons on their various quests for adventure, safety, beauty, and pepper; but they never once preach.

I look forward to finishing this book (again) with my children; they will get a lot out of it this year. But more than that, I look forward to reading it with them again next year, and the year after that, because this is the sort of book that will grow as they grow. Mount Majestic will linger in the imagination and bear many re-readings for years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm always on the lookout for a fun, lighthearted book. I knew I wanted to read The Rise and Fall of Mt. Majestic when I first heard about it on Andrew Peterson's Rabbit Room website. The recommendations at The Rabbit Room have always panned out for me and resulted in some very enjoyable reads and new favorite authors. To my surprise I won a copy on a Good Reads' contest that Jennifer Trafton (the author) was holding. The book arrived a few days later and I dug right in.

I'll start by saying that the writing is superb. As AP said in his review, Jennifer really knows how to craft a sentence. The story moves along at a brisk pace with dialogue that is so wonderful I often found myself smiling. If I wasn't opposed to highlighting in my novels I would have highlighted a lot of lines that are absolutely quotable. The characters are amazing. Our lead heroine, ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge, is so adorable and likable that I really hope we get to go back to the Island at the Center of Everything in the future. While we don't get a ton of back-story on all the characters, they're fleshed out so that we understand why they are the way they are and it's a delight to see how they change and grow over the course of the story.

I most related to Worvil the Worrier, who's progression through the story made me cheer by the book's end, and bratty 12-year-old King Lucas the Loftier (I love pepper too!), who also grows quite a bit through the story. You could really feel what the characters were wrestling with and feel the weight of the situations they found themselves in.

Adding to the great story and the great characters are incredible illustrations by Brett Helquist (of Lemony Snicket fame).
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Format: Hardcover
The language in The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic is magical and pulls you into the story. When language is particularly well chosen as it is here -- the words not only tell the story but they actually shade and define and extend the meaning adding more depth and movement. As a school librarian for 30 years, I loved those books that begged to be read aloud. A child can and will read this book alone but the shared experience with a favorite adult is going to be extra special for both the adult and the child. TEACHERS this is a wonderful wonderful classroom read-aloud. The vocabulary and word play alone are worth the instructional time but then add the wonderful fanciful story and the humor of Ms Trafton's word pictures and this is a book the children will not want to end. Highly recommended.
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