Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Review: Transported: The Adventures fo Thomas and Claire

Title: Transported: The Adventures of Thomas and Claire

By: Paul Hankins

Published by:  Word Alive Press; Date: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-77069-511-5

Price: $16.99

Ages: 11 and up

Rating:  5 stars

Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

Synopsis: If you had a device that could transport you to any place in the world, where would you want to go?  Thomas James Brampton, eleven years old, and his thirteen-year-old sister Claire are typical siblings—they tend to annoy each other and do a great deal of arguing between themselves.  One warm summer day in July, Claire comes to call her brother for lunch.  Thomas has spent all morning in the garage making something out of a small block of wood, two eggbeaters (which he purchased for a dollar at a garage sale), and an assortment of radio parts. In fact, he often created gizmos and pretended they could do special things.  This one is his “Transporter” which is for traveling places.  Claire wonders out loud why eleven-year-old boys waste their time making things that never actually do anything and picks it up to look at it.

However, when Thomas grabs the Transporter back from Claire and accidentally hits the Activator button, they suddenly find themselves riding on top of a train pulling into a station which they learn is in northern India.  From there, it takes them to an auction in a small town, a scary neighborhood in an inner city, a legislature, a Middle East war zone, a hockey game, a retirement home, white-water canoeing, a refugee camp somewhere in Africa, a retail store, and a base camp for climbers on Mount Everest.  In these various situations, they come to understand the importance of getting along better and working together to solve problems.  They also meet several people, some who they help and others who help them.  Finally they are transported to a lush tropical resort where all their wants and wishes are met.  What important lesson do they learn there?  And will they ever get home?

Overall thoughts:  Wow!  I have to say that this is a book whose excitement and adventure will grab your attention immediately and keep you turning the pages throughout.  However, it is more than just a thrilling tale of going places and doing things.  Values such as cooperation, resourcefulness, compassion, forgiveness, and thankfulness, among others, are developed throughout the story.   Also, there are questions at the end of each chapter which will provide a basis for discussion of these issues.  The book has been used successfully in middle-grade school classrooms and by homeschool families.  In fact, author Paul Hankins is a homeschool father who lives in central Alberta, Canada, with his wife and eight children.  A free Homeschool Unit Study Guide has been developed by Hankins’s wife to accompany it and is available at the author’s website.  I highly recommend this book for its sense of humor, the rich, descriptive language, and the emphasis on making good choices in life.

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