Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence

The Zodiac Legacy:
by Stan Lee
From the publisher:
"Stan Lee presents a brand new, magical, super-powered adventure! 

When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He'll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac."

This book isn't really my cup of tea, but if the length doesn't deter them I'm pretty sure some middle school kids will love it. They won't notice the discrepancies that bothered me, but here are the ones that really bugged me:

*A kid from Ireland wouldn't have made this comment: "Mate....... we all went to high school". 
Pretty sure they go to Primary and Secondary school in Ireland.
*He also wouldn't have said that he had to pick up his math book. They don't say "math" in the UK, they say "maths".
*When a character from France yells out, "Les Poules, yeeahhhh!" and the Irish character wonders who Less Pools is. Has Stan Lee ever heard French? Yes it might look like that is the way it is said, but it sounds nothing like that when said out loud. And how is it appropriate to have the name of a band in a middle grade book be translated as The Prostitutes/Sluts? 

Are those ridiculously small annoyances? Yes. Would they bother a middle school reader? Definitely not. Did they "American-ize" Harry Potter to make it more readable for the US readers? Yes. 
So even though those things bugged me, no one else probably cares. However, there are several very confusing things that happen throughout the book. And there are way too many characters and way too little character development. For about the first 200 pages I had to stop and think every time a different character started speaking. Plus, each major character had 2 names, so you not only had to remember who Josie was, you also had to remember she was the Horse. The different names were used interchangably and not together. Will middle school students stick with this book long enough to get it all straight? I have a feeling there are many who won’t. 

Positives? There is plenty of action and there are pictures that graphic novel readers will appreciate. The second book in the series is already out, so we’ll see if the kids have any interest in going on in the series.

Areas of concern:
*A lot of violence. It isn’t too graphic, but it is constant. 
*Several children/teenagers who just leave home and travel with a bunch of strangers. No one seems to question this or even look for the children. 

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 8-12
School Library Journal - Grades 4-7

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