The Taker and the Keeper by Wim Coleman & Pat Perrin
Publication: Chiron Books (October 1, 2009), Paperback, 158pp / ISBN 1935178032
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Middle Grade
Find @ Amazon
Challenges: Countdown 2010 (2009 #8)
Read: November 2009
I don’t read much middle grade fiction, and when I do read MG fiction, I tend to find a lot of faults. So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I ended up really enjoying The Taker and the Keeper!
Summary from Amazon:
Gregory Guest and Yolanda Torres have no intention of becoming heroes overnight. But as the only kids in Bainsboro who see that the world has gone horribly wrong, what choice do they have? Aided by their eccentric science teacher and Gregorys trusty red monocle, Gregory and Yolanda travel into the King Arthur legend to save todays real world from a legendary threat. As they ally themselves with the magician Merlin and his young apprentice to thwart the sorceress Morgan le Fays machinations, these reluctant heroes must set whole worlds right again.
It’s got Arthurian stuff in it, of course, and I think that almost predisposed me to liking The Taker and the Keeper. But I also like it because it’s got extremely likable protagonists, including an admirably tough PoC teenage girl. The other characters were fine, too– though I honestly didn’t like Gregory and Yolanda’s science teacher, Mildred McDougal. She was obstinate and kinda mean and not at all the sort of teacher I’d like to have with me on an adventure (I’d much more prefer a Ms Frizzle sort of teacher, not a Mr Feeny).
The adventure was exciting and it wrapped up well enough at the end of the book. I thought the idea of no Arthurian myths = cruel, mean world so interesting, and though it doesn’t get into a lot of detail about that connection, it basically says that without Arthurian stories there’d be no chivalry. I’m not entirely sure that’s historically accurate, but for the sake of a MG book it’s fine.
Of course, because it’s MG it doesn’t get into a lot of detail about things, like how exactly Mildred invented those colored lens that let people see things that aren’t there, but I was strangely okay with that. The writing was good, though I think there were a few too many exclamation marks. Overall, The Taker and the Keeper was a really fun MG book and I think it’d be perfect for kids interested in Arthurian stories and science.
Have you reviewed this book? Let me know where and I’ll link to your review in this post!