Reading Level: Children’s
Length: 112 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks.
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Underworld series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is the first book in the Underworld series. This is a beginning chapter book fantasy series that has four books in it. I read this with my 7 year old son. Actually he read the book out loud to me over a couple of months. I have been reading more and more beginning chapter books with him and I have to say this is one of the best ones we have read.
Owen is just your average fourth grader until his best friend Dana disappears into the ground…literally. Owen, along with his friends Jon and Sydney, find out there is a lot more underneath their school then they first thought. In fact there is a whole Underworld down there and Owen and friends will have to face a number of dangerous mythological creatures to finally win Dana back.
There is a lot of humor in here, but it’s smart humor not slapstick humor (okay there is some slapstick humor) like a lot of books this level feature. There is also some wonderful mythology and lots of action. The characters are loyal to each other and fun to read about.
I highly recommend this if you have a kid that is starting to read chapter books who loves fantasy. It was very well done. The story is going to be a bit too simple for adults. However, I still did really enjoy it…I was actually surprised at how much I was engaged in the story and eager to hear what would happen next.
Tony Abbott also writes the Secrets of Droon series, which my son loves. Unfortunately listening to him read the Secrets of Droon drives me nuts, it is just such an easy level that the language sounds unnatural and the stories are incredibly simple.
The Underworld series is definitely a harder reading level than the Secrets of Droon. It is slightly harder than The Magic Treehouse series as well. However with some help my 2nd grader was able to get through this fine. This is a great transition series for kids who are getting bored with the easier beginning chapter book but not quite ready to move on to full size middle grade novels like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
Overall I absolutely loved this beginning chapter book! There is a fun story here with lots of humor, some excellent mythology, wonderful characters, and a great plot. Highly recommended to those who are transitioning from beginning chapter books to middle grade novels.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge