Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

Obert Skye, Author, Ben Sowards, Illustrator Shadow Mountain $17.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-59038-369-8
This imaginative and entertaining young adult fantasy novel successfully depicts an unusual boy's coming of age. Oklahoma orphan teen Leven Thumps has a hidden and powerful talent: he can glimpse, and then manipulate, the future. He is also the only person on the planet who can protect the gateway to Foo, a mythical realm whose existence ensures that human beings in this reality retain the ability to dream, hope and imagine. Sabine, the wicked ruler of Foo, wants to extend his tyranny by ruling this world as well-but if that happens, no one on Earth would ever be able to dream again. As Lev hurries to find the gateway between the two worlds before Sabine does, he encounters several friends to help him: Winter, a bright 13-year-old girl who can instantly freeze things and people just by wishing it; Clover, an adorable, foot-high furry creature from Foo who has been assigned as Lev's companion (and, apparently, as comic relief); and Geth, the wise but displaced king of Foo, who alone knows the full secret of the gateway. Obert Skye's imagined world of Foo contains many whimsical and delightful elements, such as Humble Pie that apologizes for its own flavor and promises to taste better next time, and candy that temporarily rearranges its chewer's body parts. At times, the prose does not match the quality of the story. Debut novelist Skye resorts to telling instead of showing, especially with character descriptions; Lev's guardian, for example, is ""a little man with no compassion or concern for others."" Some passages are also oddly overwritten (""He didn't speak English, he spoke anguish""). However, the story's pacing is excellent, and the last hundred pages build palpable excitement and suspense. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this charming tale of good and evil, and look forward to the other books in the series.
Reviewed on: 04/04/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Prebound-Glued - 368 pages - 978-1-4177-3183-1
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-1-59038-408-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-6991-5
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4169-2806-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6201-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-6200-3
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4169-2664-1
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