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Book Review - American Stonehenge by Mike Goldstein

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for book posts and reviews. This is a review of a children's book.
Shalini
American stonehenge
I loved it
5/5

Publication Date: December 2018

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Blurb

It’s his birthday, and Jimmy gets to pick out a dog at the humane society. Jimmy has wanted a dog for as long as he can remember. But he never imagined he’d find a pet that could talk to him telepathically!

It turns out that the dog is immortal, born in Egypt more than three thousand years ago. With the ability to read both canine and human thoughts, he has roamed the earth ever since, hoping to find others of his kind. Only after he meets Jimmy does he begin to discover clues to his elusive origins.

When Jimmy rescues Andrew from the pound, the first of their many adventures begins. American Stonehenge takes Jimmy and Andrew to the remote forests of northern Washington, where they accompany the boy’s archaeologist parents on the excavation of a newly discovered site. The find – a fully intact duplicate of Stonehenge in England – is shrouded in a mystery that Jimmy and Andrew must unravel.

How did this Stonehenge come to exist? Why do so many strange things happen around it? And what’s this telepathic dog been up to for the past three millennia? These mysteries and more are waiting to be revealed in Jimmy and Andrew’s first great adventure!

My Review

What was it all about

American Stonehenge was a delightful children’s book that would be an adventure into the depths of the author’s creativity, most suitable for readers in all countries of all ages. 

The author, Mark Goldstein, surpassed my expectations with the rich tapestry of words that showed me the world of Jimmy and Andrew. 

A dog on Jimmy’s ninth birthday was a culmination of all his wishes since a few years. To his joy, the dog was three thousand years old, give or take a century. And to make it more awe-inspiring the dog could communicate with him in human words telepathically. Meet Andrew.

Didn’t all this sound something you would want for your birthday? I surely would like such an intelligent dog by my side. 

The adventures soon started with Jimmy and Andrew accompanying his parents to an archeological dig site where the mysterious discovery of the American Stonehenge led to more questions. And it was all up to our dynamic duo to get to the truth. Sounded interesting? It sure did for me. 

The Characters

What could I say about them? They were distinct, with a strong voice that carried the story down the rest of the pages. The author’s hard work for a few years to polish the prose was well evident in the careful etching of his characters. There was something so endearing about the characters that the story invited me to immerse myself in their lives and go on this trip. Who amongst us hadnt wondered about the Stonehenge at least once in our lifetimes?

Their communication and bonding with each other brought out the meaning of true friendship that rested in their hearts. They were adorable and intelligent. I didn’t know about you, but I was thoroughly bored with stupid characters in some of the books that I had read in the past few months. So, Jimmy and Andrew were a breath of fresh air. 

The Intricacies

It was not often that I came across a book that would amalgamate history and fantasy well together in a children’s book, along with science-fiction. Yes, yes, there were aliens too. 

The subplots were woven tight together in such a manner that it felt I was traveling with them to investigate the mysteries that were written in. I loved the way the author took a topic of one of the greatest wonder of this world and surrounded it with the right amount of suspense and thrill, along with the feel of going on an adventure. 

The Setting

The setting of the scene and the worldbuilidng were intricate, that gave the space for my imagination to travel great distances to visualize each action as they occurred. 

Did I mention the book is part graphic? Yes, it is a semi-illustrated novel of 277 pages. That meant I got to visualize the precise scenes and read about them as they happened since the beautifully detailed pictures brought the story to life in my mind. That was another adventure waiting to happen. 

I spent minutes perusing each picture in detail. The colors, the body language, the emotion in the graphics were carefully handled. Kudos to the artist to have found the right way to bring the author’s words to life. 

The book was a journey to happen, and I was beyond delighted with the end result. 

The style of writing - The Prose

Absolutely captivating in the way the author has enmeshed action and friendship in each chapter of the book. There was careful detailing which maintained the balance without going overboard with fillers. The story gave me just the right amount of backstory of the psychic dog that it kept me on the seat of wanting to know what would come next. 

The pages unfolded the subplots clearly, where each line was crisp in the realm of storytelling. That was the way any book in any genre ought to be. 

How it made me feel - The Good

Exalted I was as I dove into the pages of this book and stayed there until I finished the story. The story was enjoyable and would appeal to the senses of each child. The prose would make each of them ponder the mysteries that still remained standing on this earth, surviving the tests of time. Probably waiting for us to reveal its secrets in the next adventure. Maybe author Mark Goldstein would just do that in his next book. 

Ah, you would wonder why I was not reading this with my tiny tot niece. That is because she was on a vacation when I got the opportunity to read this. But fear not, I had scheduled an appointment with her to read the book together in the next few months. I also hoped that the book would strike the right chord in my niece so that we got to enact the scenes, and maybe got on a different adventure. Wouldn’t this what you would want from each book you read? A traipse into a world so contrary to reality, yet embellished in the moment we lived in. 

What I didn't like - The Bad

I was not too fond of the hunting scenes, only because I wouldn’t know how my niece would perceive the concept or if those scenes had to be airbrushed by me when I read it out to her. 

The words coursed along in my mind as scenes of a movies, so nothing niggled at me while reading it. If I were being nitpicky, then I would say some minor proofreading would help.

Nonetheless, the book was entertaining in the present version. 

I would probably add to this review once I got to know my niece’s views. 

The Summary

I was happy that I got to spend time with Jimmy and Andrew as they were two characters worthy of my attention. I liked how a children’s book made me forget my world for a few hours and prickled my curiosity to know more about theirs. 

The book was detailed with wonderful, clear graphics, where the voices of the main characters along with their actions stood strong.

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely. A must for every reader. And why would you not want to read a book that would make you as innocent as a child, longing to wander the world, solving one mystery at a time. 

A quick recap of my life - The ceiling slab collapsed at home, which needed extreme repairs, so I had to shut down the blog and other activities since the repair was a matter of our survival. We are more than halfway through so now I have internet and a place and calmness of mind to put my thoughts to words. Whew! Those were some rough days.
What's happening with y'all?

I was gifted the physical copy of the book by the author and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

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