City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
Indiana Jones eat your heart out! Meet Alex Cold, who has the heart of a jaguar, and his friend Nadia who has the heart of an eagle. They join Alex’s grandmother on and International Geographic trip into the amazon. If this were not adventurous enough for the two teenagers, they also encounter people trying to rid the amazon of its native inhabitants so they can mine the area, and they have to deal with a mythical beast who is killing those who wander into its path. While trying to protect the indians the two find a well of courage they did not know they possessed as they meet the animals and super-natural beings of the amazon.
I have always loved Isabel Allende’s books. Her characters are always interesting and her view of the world takes into account the mythical and supernatural, as well as the things we can all see. The trilogy that starts with the City of the Beasts was written for her grandchildren, and they helped her with ideas for these stories. That collaboration has resulted in three great stories that will appeal to boys and girls alike. They are written to appeal to the 12+ reader, but there is nothing in the content that would prevent a younger advanced reader enjoying them.
Following on from City of the Beasts, Allende takes us to the Himalayas for the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, followed by a trip to Africa for Forest of the Pygmies. In these books Isabelle takes the reader to not so well known areas of the world that are under threat from modernisation, and questions how we are dealing with these unique areas of our world. The books are full of adventure and mystery, and a good dose of imagination, transporting readers to new worlds viewed through the eyes of the heroic main characters Alex and Nadia. When I finished all three and was expelled back to reality I could not help but wish she had written a fourth.
I may be biased in how good these books are for children as I am am predisposed to like anything of Isabelle Allende’s, so I have asked my reviewer Sam to read the first book for me and he will put is view in the comments below when he finishes. Until then, why don’t you give these books a read, I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I have.