Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blog Tour: Medina Hill

Jacket description:
"It is 1935, and eleven-year-old Dominic Walker has stopped speaking. Home is London's grimy docklands, where life with an ailing mother, an unemplyed father, and unanswered questions about the war that haunts his family lead him to retreat into a world of silence.

Everything chances when Uncle Roo invites Dominic and his little sister, Marlo, to spend the summer on the Cornish coast. There, in a boarding house populated  by likeable eccentrics, the children discover a free-thinking, unstructured way of life unlike any they have known before. But the idyllic holiday is threatened when a village uprising against a band of Travelers tests Dominic's emerging friendship with a one-legged Gypsy girl. Armed only with a treasured copy of Incredible Adventures for Boys: Colonel Lawrence and the Revolt in the Desert, he decides to take a stand for justice and the victimized community-and in so doing, learns what it truly means to have a voice."

Author, Trilby Kent has created a middle grade historical fiction book that has a lot going for it, mainly in the category of characterization. The main character, Dominic, has this inability to speak at times, allowing the reader to really want to know more about him and to cheer for him the whole way through the book. His little sister, Marlo, and Sancha, and Birdie, were all exceptional characters with awesome stories to tell.

I also really liked the inclusion of another book as the one of the main parts of Medina Hill. Kent showed Dominic becoming braver and more outgoing through the use of a book, which was a really nice thing to see in a story.

Unfortunately, I didn't really love the rest of the book as a whole. I think it moved incredibly slow for a middle grade fiction book and may have even been a bit too long for what I believe the author was trying to do with the plot. I didn't really get where the climax was supposed to be, as everything happening with the characters and the story was very subdued.

I can see children that are fans of historical fiction enjoying this and would recommend it as a library shelf choice or school classroom selection. It does have great characters and great potential, but unfortunately, for me as the reader, it didn't all come together as it maybe could have.

To learn more about this blog tour, head on over to this blog.

Medina Hill
Trilby Kent
176 pages
Middle Grade
Tundra Books
October 2009
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Affiliate and will receive a small commission for your purchase.


Staci said...

Do you think that sometimes we (adults) judge middle school fiction too harshly? I'm just curious because we're reading it as an adult not a child and how can we really judge whether or not a kid would find it interesting?? Those thoughts just crossed my mind as I read your review. I've often questioned myself in this manner when a student comes into the library and wants me to recommend a book to them that I've read and enjoyed. Amanda, this really doesn't have much to do with your review but rather a question that popped into my head and I thought who better to ask than you? What do you think?

Amanda said...

I definitely try to read it through my eyes at whatever age the book is aimed at. If I was 11 and reading this I think it would have moved too slowly and I would have given up on it halfway through. Sometimes, when I am "disliking" a book or giving a not-so-fabulous review, I do have to remind myself who the book is written for and make sure my thoughts are still appropriate and valid for that age group. We all need reminding now and then!

I hope that makes sense!