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The Sandman and the War of Dreams (The Guardians) Hardcover – November 5, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (Billy’s Booger; The Numberlys; The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King; A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack; Dinosaur Bob; Bently & Egg; A Day with Wilbur Robinson; and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana.

William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (Billy’s Booger; The Numberlys; The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King; A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack; Dinosaur Bob; Bently & Egg; A Day with Wilbur Robinson; and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Sandman and the War of Dreams
CHAPTER One

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The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of

TIME PASSES STRANGELY WHEN you are sleeping. You can close your eyes when it is night, then open them again and see morning. Yet the hours that went by seemed no longer than the drifting journey of a leaf in a soft breeze.

Strange, wondrous, and terrible adventures are the norm in dreams. Uncharted lands come and go. Dream epics play out. Wars are fought and won. Loved ones are lost or found. Entirely different lives are lived as we sleep. And then we awake, with disappointment or relief, as if nothing at all had happened.

But sometimes things do happen.

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In the waking world, the Guardians had lost one of their own to a powerful entity known as Mother Nature.

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But an odd little man had been sleeping for more days and nights than any calendar could count. The snoozing fellow was the color of golden sand—indeed, he seemed to be made of the stuff. And his unruly hair twirled and twisted as he slept. He rested in the dune-covered center of a tiny star-shaped island that was nearly impossible for humans to find, for it was not originally from the Earth. The island was not connected to anything; no landmass beneath the ocean anchored it in place. As such, it was the only island on our planet that truly floated atop the water. Because of this, it drifted. In June it might be in the Pacific Ocean, and by July it might be off the coast of Madagascar, its whereabouts known only to the Moon and the stars.

Which was fitting, for this island had once been a star. It had been saved by the leader of the Guardians, Tsar Lunar, or as we call him, the “Man in the Moon.” But that was ages ago.

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The island, from above

On this most auspicious night, Tsar Lunar called upon the small and harmless-looking fellow who softly snored among the island’s magic sands.

But how should one awaken a man from the past? A man who had traveled oceans of time and space. A steadfast fellow who had piloted the fastest shooting star in the heavens. A hero of ten thousand battles against Pitch, the Nightmare King. This smallish warrior had once been the most valiant granter of wishes the cosmos had ever known. How does one wake a man who has not opened his eyes since the great ancient days of the Golden Age?

As with most things, the answer was simple.

The Man in the Moon sent a moonbeam messenger with a single whispered request: “I wish that you would help. Your powers are needed.”

In an instant the little man’s eyes opened. The centuries of sleep fell away. There he stood, tall as he could: Sanderson Mansnoozie. The Man in the Moon then proceeded to relay his full message. Sanderson Mansnoozie listened intently.

So very much had happened while he had slept.

Pitch had returned and was threatening the galaxies again. But Sanderson Mansnoozie’s long sleep had been most productive. He was now more powerful than he had ever been: He had power over the world of dreams. In fact, every grain of sand on his island now contained a dream—one dream from each night of his nearly endless sleep, and all of them good dreams, strong enough to fight any nightmare.

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When the Man in the Moon finished, Sanderson Mansnoozie, with a wave of his hands, brought his island to life. Its sands swirled around him, and the island transformed into a cloud that swept him up from the sea and into the sky.

With moonbeams to guide him, he sailed the golden cloud toward his mission: to aide the Guardians. To save and rescue a girl named Katherine. And to stop Pitch forever.

This “Sandman” was ready to seek out his ancient enemy and oldest friends. He was ready to face whatever dangers lay ahead.

And there were many.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 810 (What's this?)
  • Series: The Guardians (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442430540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442430549
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In many ways, this book gives us a lot of more exploration on some parts. We learn a lot more about Pitch Black and Mother Nature's tragic backstory, but it feels as if it comes at a price, which is that the story feels far too fast paced, while it at the same time is lacking some important points that seemed incredibly important in the other books (such as a locket that was rather vital in the second book and a bit in the third book). The theory behind this, might be the rush there has been, and possible a couple of editings that doesn't seem to quite fit. Another is that Mr. Joyce might be rushing to try and fit the universe of his books together with the universe of the Rise of the Guardians film, which shouldn't be necessary.

Aside from that, some parts of this book still continue to rise more questions, which will hopefully be resolved in what seems to be the final book of the series. We will just have to wait and see.

On a more positive note, the book did have some cute moments, as well as some really funny ones. Despite the negative points that I have already mentioned, I enjoyed the book and I hope others will too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let's face it, the third book ended on a nasty cliffhanger. Thankfully it's resolved, but honestly, the whole thing feels somewhat rushed. A friend of mine said it felt like watching a movie on TV, that had been edited for time, and parts were missing. It's obvious that time is passing (and has passed), and while the writing is delightful, there's just the nagging sense that there should be more. Now, I'm not part of the targeted age group for this series. In fact, I love how 'retro' the storytelling and the illustrations are. But there is something about the concept that caught my interest and brought me into the world that Joyce has created. There's one more chapter book to go, but I'm going to hope for some short stories and picture books to further expand upon the Guardians.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood series. The picture books, the novels, the movie… they’re all a lot of fun. I’m sad that the movie—which is really good—didn’t seem to get much attention, and I’m sad that it appears that the next novel looks like it’s the last one. Still, they’re all quick enough reads that I can go back and read them all over again.

This latest novel brings the character of Sanderson Mansnoozie, the Sandman (geddit?) into the fray, after having had his origin told in a picture book. While each book in the series builds from the last, this one is very much an installment in a serialized tale. Following the capture of young Katherine in the previous volume, the Guardians search for their friend. Along the way, we learn more about the evil Pitch, his daughter, Mother Nature, and we see the Guardians begin to set things up for what may be the final battle.

As with previous books in the series, I really enjoy the mythology Joyce is building. It’s an epic adventure featuring Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Mother Goose, but it neither feels silly nor overly serious. The books have the tone of an oral folktale, one that has been told again and again over generations. And yet, they also feel focused and detailed. While this time around, we don’t get too much insight into most of the characters, we do learn a great deal about Pitch, Sandman, and Nightlight.

Unfortunately, it felt as if this volume had fewer illustrations than previous ones. I really enjoy Joyce’s artwork, so that was a shame. Also, this feels less like a complete installment than setup for what will come next. Having said that, the background information this book provides more than makes up for that. And since I am totally enjoying the series as a whole, I’m okay with installments that expect me to read what came before and what will come next.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This entire series is great, and stands well alongside the movie without either detracting from the other (as often happens with movie adaptations)! It's the perfect mix of action/adventure and whimsy for bedtime reading with the kids, and it entertaining enough for the adults involved too. Can't wait for the final book to drop!
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William Joyce has become one of my favorite authors with his imaginative, heartfelt, and inventive stories. I would have to say that this book is probably his best work yet.
Suspenseful, gripping, and all over a wonderful continuation of the Guardians of Childhood series.

If you haven't picked up this series yet (no matter your age) I suggest you at least give it a shot. I've converted many a picky reader it's that good.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Guardian series a fabulous set of books and lovely companion to the movie Rise of the Guardians. They are a beautiful way to help stir a child's imagination to go beyond what was already put in front of them by the movie. The Sandman is the fourth book in the Guardian series and a lovely continuation of an on-going storyline created Joyce in his previous books. I am looking forward to sharing these stories with my nieces, and waiting patiently for the fifth book. These books are imagination at their finest.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I wrote before, I've read science fiction, history, and several good war novels. But every once in a while it's nice to be able to read a book for younger readers. The Guardian trilogy was superb and this book is just as good. I recommend these books to anyone who likes to read.
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