Review: The League and the Lantern by Brian Wells


Title: The51IKl6ixckL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_ League and the Lantern
Author: Brian Wells
Genre:  YA, adventure
Publisher: Republic Ink
Date: May 16, 2016

To say that Jake Herndon is going through an awkward patch is a bit of an understatement. After a variety of misadventures in sixth grade, he’s ready to move into seventh as the great Do Over. This time he’s going to make things much better! Except that his first meeting with his seventh grade class is a disaster. Choking on corn dogs, a stained shirt, and an unfortunate Hello Kitty shirt all play a part in making it seem like seventh grade will end up no different than sixth.

It’s when things turn life and death that he realizes it may be a little more drastic. In the middle of an explosive heist (literally) Jake ends up partnering with two of his future classmates and they all have to run for their lives.

The League and the Lantern is an exceptional adventure! I know that I’m supposed to expound on all of the characteristics of the book at this point, but I really just want to shout from the mountaintops because I’ve found a book that might interest my non-reading 11 year old son. If you’ve ever struggled with getting the young man in your life to read, this book would definitely be worth giving a try. Dare I say that it might even turn a young man into a reader? I can only hope!

Now, onto the actual details about the book. The characters are great fun. Jake, Lucy, and T.J. have the best conversations and interactions. I adored it when they would bunny trail off onto some random geeky fact about Captain America or Star Wars. It was almost like Wells came to my house and installed microphones everywhere! I’ve had those conversations and I’ve had to redirect kids back to the task at hand during the course of those conversations.

The adventures were delightfully twisty with just enough detail to keep the reader interested but not to bog down the narrative. It moved along at a quick pace without leaving me behind and the mystery was wonderfully rich and detailed. Wells did a brilliant job of creating a story that plays out as beautifully on the page as it does in the imagination.

I am excited about this book – can’t you tell? There’s not one single thing for parents to worry about, it’s written with intelligence and style…this is the book that I’ve been hoping to find for my son. Thank you Mr. Wells for your gorgeous creation!