*** Possible Spoilers Ahead! ***
Book Title: Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows
Author: J.M. Bergen
Main Theme: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Thesis: Thomas Wildus, your typical pre-teen boy in junior high, has a lot on his mind, like his best friend, his crush on his classmate, and karate class after school. But he has always been obsessed with one thing: magic. Before his dad disappeared from his life, his dad told him that “magic was real”, and Thomas was determined to find it. One day after school, he stumbled on an old book shop, ran by the erratic Huxley and Adelia. They lent Thomas a book, called The Book of Sorrows, in exchange for some handy work around the shop. Every day, Thomas reads a little section of the book, revealing a wondrous story of magic and fantasy. Eventually, the book begins to change, revealing more of an ancient story to Thomas, as well as emitting a glow that no one has seen in years. Suddenly, Thomas’ life is thrown upside down, with a band of mysterious, dangerous people after him and family secrets to be revealed.
What Drew Me In: This book was offered to me from the Book Publicity Services as a free book, in exchange for an honest review. Admittedly, this review has taken me much longer than I figured to post, unfortunately, life has been a little crazy the past few months. I was happy to agree to it, as I love magical concepts in books and was eager to read it.
My Thoughts: I will admit, I was wondering when the book had it’s “jumping off” point, as it was sort of slow in the beginning. I’m glad the author gave us a good look into the main character’s life. Thomas is sort of your typical teen boy, between cutting up with his best friend in class, to being love-struck when his crush smiles at him on the bus. But he has certain qualities that not a lot of teen boys has, like sticking up for the new kid from the class bully, to visiting book shops to find the latest read, and being an overall good kid for his single mother. I am NOT a fan of your usual outlook on a teenage kid, so this was refreshing.
The book really started to pick up when Thomas realizes that there is something about this book that has a lot of people interested, especially when he notices people watching him more often and a van that was usually parked not too far away from him at all times. The only kind of people that would be THAT interested in a teenage boy or a dusty old book has to be the worst kind of people. Not to spoil too much, but Thomas finally gets his answers when he was suddenly taken to a hideout very far away from his home. The bookshop owners, Adelia and Huxley, assume some guardianship over Thomas and begins their journey uncovering some secrets and mysterious with the Book of Sorrows.
Would I recommend this book?: For a kid’s book, this is an enjoyable read. Get past the slower beginning, and I think even adults who enjoy a fantasy setting will like it. It is aimed for kids though, so expect kid-like thinking, like “Does Peggy like me, or like-like me?”. If you do have a kiddo who is interested in magic or fantasy and is reading bigger chapter books, I would highly recommend this book for them.