Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born by Brandon Mull
(Summary taken from the back cover of the book) "In the world of Erdas, four children are about to discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that gives great powers to both. Separated by vast distances, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan each see a flash of light...and then the animals emerge. Wolf, leopard, panda, falcon. Each of the children has summoned a beast from legend. Now their fate is set. The four new heroes and their animals must band together on a dangerous quest. A dark force from the past is rising, and only they have the power to stop it. The fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of these brave strangers...and on you."
This book was ok., It was not as good as some of Brandon Mull's other books, but it was good. The kids in the story are asked to do very grown-up things for their age and most of the time they seem to handle it well. They are cute characters. I was glad there was a mixture of boys and girls. Even though they come from different backgrounds, most of the kids seem to work well together. There are, of course, the few that don't play nicely and think too highly of themselves. The bad guys are definitely bad without being overly scary. There is a sense of mystery as you try and figure out which characters are the good guys and which are the bad guys. The concept of the spirit animals is clever and interesting. I liked the scenes where the animals chose their children. It was slow in some parts, but very action-packed in others. My 12 year-old and 10 year-old both read it and liked it, but they didn't love it. They liked "Fablehaven" a lot more. It will be interesting to see where the next books go, since they will be by different authors. I think I will grab them at the library because my boys are always needing new books.
Rating: PG+ (Fighting, violence.....I read this back in December.....I'm pretty sure there wasn't any language.......)
Recommendation: 3rd grade and up