|The First Book of ORE|
by Cameron Baity & Benny Zelkowicz
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Series: The Books of Ore (Book 1)
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (April 15, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.5 inches
"The authors have created an imaginative and profound world. The descriptions of the Mekhans are so original and detailed, readers might think these creatures actually exist... A fine addition to any middle grade collection." - School Library Journal
“The man in the fog was watching her. He was across the street, just outside a pool of street light, standing as still as the ghostly birch trees that surrounded him…From her third-story bedroom, she could just barely make him out: a sharp black suit and bowler hat, a pale face with a thick curving mustache, and round black spectacles like two holes punched in his face. What could he be doing at this hour?”
This eerie scene starts off Pheobe Plumm’s adventure into the dark secrets of the Foundry, a huge corporation dedicated to the manufacturing of high-tech machinery, stylish appliances and nifty gadgets. It has been four months since Pheobe has seen or heard from her inventor father. When he returns unexpectedly one night, he and she are both kidnapped by a sinister, militaristic man called Kasper and his freaky troop of bowler hat wearing hitmen. As the story progresses, Pheobe is eventually rescued by her spunky servant, Micah. After some corralling, both finally agree to find her father together. As they seek out Mr. Plumm, will the two children discover something they had never even dreamed possible?
Foundry’s Edge is an interesting book. Interesting not just based off the unique, scifi world and robust, punky characters, but because of the style on which the book is written in. It is whimsical, imaginative, and heavily verbose. While reading Foundry’s Edge, I was surprised at the vocabulary put in this book. Words like “infinitesimal” and “filigreed” caught me off guard and had me reaching a few times for a dictionary. I say this with no negative feelings at all. On the contrary, It made me thoroughly happy to see that a children’s book was finally daring enough to throw some “colors” onto their pages! That being addressed, there is no object left without some type of color or detail splashed onto it. The sentences are packed with enough descriptors to get your brain immersed in the world and projecting out the images clearly in your head.
The two characters, Pheobe, a bossy, antisocial prankster and Micah, a grease monkey ragamuffin, are realistic enough in their bratty natures to grasp the heart of the young reader who may not like seeing perfect, pretty protagonists always saving the world.
The children are sour and wanton, but have their redeeming qualities. Micah dreams of being a soldier although he has a knack for tinkering with anything that has gears and an engine. Pheobe is quite a “silent” trickster who likes to prank her victims with her signature technique called “sniping.” By sniping her victims, she can enjoy the pleasure of the mayhem from a distance without being discovered and feeling the consequences of her actions. She's kind of a practical prank trap setter. Get it? Thus, she is a master at doing naughty things and getting away with it unseen, which takes a lot of deliberating.
Overall it is a fun read with some challenging words for novice readers. Keep that dictionary on hand, young readers!
Fawn Carter(Guest Post Blogger)
Disclaimer: Loving Heart Designs received a complimentary copy of The First Book of ORE: The Foundry’s Edge by Baity & Zelkowicz through Disney Publishing Worldwide.