Brandon Mull, Fablehaven: The Complete Series, Deseret Book Company, 2011.
Book 1 — Fablehaven
Book 2 — Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star
Book 3 — Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague
Book 4 — Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Book 5 — Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison
I did not even know there was a designated genre, Grandparents — Fiction, until I read the Library of Congress Catalogue information on the title page of this book. I was introduced to the Fablehaven series by my Grandson last year when he was in the 6th grade, and told me one day, “Grandpa, I know you would really like the Fablehaven books.” No way I could resist an invitation like that to read a book. Having now completed reading the entire series, I thought it might be valuable to bring it to the attention of other grandparents who might potentially enjoy a shared reading experience with late elementary/middle school age grandchildren. For that reason, I am posting it here even though it is not one of our Book Club reads.
Part of the pleasure of reading this series of books with grandchildren is the mildly transgressive nature of the plot in which grandparents and grandchildren share secrets about which the parents have no clue. Furthermore, the children are allowed by the grandparents to engage in activities, some of which are extremely dangerous, that would most likely never have been allowed by the parents had they known. A second aspect of the book that I found enjoyable is that many of the “magical” elements and characters in the books are patterned after classic Greek and Roman myths.
This is not a book series most grandparent aged adults would probably be willing to plow through all the way to the end on one’s own. However, I found reading and discussing it with my grandson to be a very valuable experience. My grandson gave me permission to post a book report he wrote about the first book of the series. Here it is:
The main character in the story is Seth Sorenson a 10 year old boy who is tall, not very smart, and funny. In the beginning of the story Seth was very ignorant, rude and a rule breaker. As the story continued, Seth was still rude but was able to listen better. In the end of the story Seth was nice and didn’t break rules like he used to. Seth changed throughout the story by going from very immature to quite mature and able to obey the rules.
Other Major Characters:
The main setting of the story is around the year of 2006. The main setting is in a secret preserve named Fablehaven made for magical creatures such as: fairies, satyrs, centaurs, and demons.
Seth and Kendra go to their grandparents’ house which they think is boring. But after a few days things get interesting. They figure out a riddle and it leads them to drinking some unusual milk. This allows them to see magical creatures such as fairies on their grandparents’ not so boring secret preserve. Seth and Kendra must survive the crazy creatures on the preserve and save the day.
The theme of the story is “Things aren’t always what they seem.” To me this means, when you help something or do something that you think is good it might take off its mask and show you what it really is. Like in the story Seth helps a witch escape from her prison thinking she as good but soon after he found out she was bad. In the story Seth thought letting a baby in the house was good so he could protect it but it was really just a demon in disguise and it attacked Seth. This theme relates to real life because sometimes a person will help a criminal and they might not know they are a criminal.