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Tween Tuesday: Middleworld (The Jaguar Stones Book One) by J&P Voelkel

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme started here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great middle grade reads for tweens! Join the fun and post your own Tween Tuesday post-add the link in the comments.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Action/Adventure

Release Date: 4/27/2010

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About the Book: Max Murphy is upset when his parents change vacation plans at the last minute to visit Central America-and leave him home. But when a plane ticket arrives and Max is told he needs to join his parents in San Xavier, he sets off on an adventure. When he arrives, Max discovers his parents are missing. With the help of a Maya girl named Lola, Max discovers that many people-his parents included-are after The Jaguar Stones-ancient stones that hold power. Max and Lola set off to find Max's parents and stop the Jaguar Stones from falling into the wrong hands.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This is a rare book that is action/adventure without being too heavy on the fantasy. There are some fantasy elements, but they're worked into the story to be more realistic than fantasy. I think this one will have great tween appeal. It doesn't take too long for the adventure to start and once it does, it doesn't slow down. There's a lot of Maya history packed into the book which I think readers who enjoy facts will appreciate. This might even be a fiction book that your usual non-fiction readers will pick up.

The book is somewhat long (almost 400 pages) and while I thought some of that could have been cut down, my tween readers don't seem to mind long books. The ending wraps some things up, but leaves it open for more and I believe this is set to be a trilogy.

As an adult, I found it somewhat annoying that there were pronunciation's thrown into the text for every Maya word-I would have preferred a glossary, but I can see where this would be helpful to younger readers. Also, I thought some of the adventure was too coincidental, but again, I'm sure younger readers will overlook this and instead be caught up in the adventure of the story.

I liked how the book mixed history with adventure. The blurb on the back calls Middleworld "Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones" and I have to agree (although I could see this having appeal to the readers who enjoyed The Red Pyramid because of the archeology aspects). It also reminded me a bit of the Journey to the Center of the Earth movie. A fun start to a new series, give this to tweens looking for a new adventure series.

Middleworld was featured as the Al's Book Club for Kids pick in June on the Today Show.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher


  1. This was one middle grade book I just couldn't get into! I had a middle grade friend of mine read it, though and she really liked it.

  2. Middleworld was one of those middle grade books that I did not love. It made me sad so I had a tween read it also and she loved it. So, it hits it's target audience!

    Here's my Tween Tuesday for today!

  3. I have a late Tween Tuesday post:

    I haven't heard of Middleworld. It doesn't seem like the type of book I'd like but it's so hard to tell.

  4. Jana-I saw your review, but it's good to know the target audience liked it!:)

    Alison-It wasn't my usual read, but it was ok and I have a lot of adventure readers who will enjoy it.

  5. I just started this one and I agree that it's definitely one kids will like more than adults.


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