Book Review for “Forts: Fathers and Sons” by Steven Novak.
As a reader this is what I thought:
Written in the spirit of the Narnia adventures five children are plunged from their Earthly existence into a strange new world where they not only have to fight to find one another, but to simply stay alive. The five children find themselves in the midst of a prophecy that even they aren't sure they are capable of fulfilling.
There are moments along their journey, and even before it starts, where you simply want to cry for these children and what they go through. There are also those moments where you will find yourself cheering them along. Readers will also fall in love with the non-human creatures that inhabit the land of Fillagrou. They are both beautifully drawn and described. All of the characters in this story were so well developed that as you read you feel like you are making a new friend, or perhaps an enemy. Either way, the depth of the characters and the world they inhabit draws the you in and makes opening this book more of an experience than just reading a story.
As a parent:
There are points in this story where bad language is used (as in cussing, cursing, however you say it in your neck of the woods) however it is not gratuitous. The language is there for a reason and is used sparingly to bring home the point.
There are definitely themes in the story that older children/young adults can relate to. Some of the characters are subjected to abusive parenting, bullies, and a tyrannical warlord who wishes to take over every world in existence (Read: great big giant bully!) And then you have the little underdogs who rise up and find an inner strength that allows them to not only stand up for themselves, but others as well. Young readers will definitely come away from this story understanding bullying better.
Don't get me wrong with my parenting points. This book is not preachy, it is an amazing tale of childhood traumas and triumphs. I would easily liken it to a Lord of the Rings lite version for kids! There is a quest to save the worlds. There are many insurmountable obstacles. And then there are the friendships that develop along the way.
My son is beginning the first Forts book this week. I will be sure to update with his personal opinions!
I for one, can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy, “Forts: Liars and Thieves.” I am also going to send a copy to my children's school library, because other children should have the chance to be introduced to this amazing story!
The author and illustrator of the book can be found at his website: