By First Mate Keira
Title: Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth
Author: Andy Hueller
Format: Digial ebook
Page Count: 248 pages
Grade Reading Level: Grades 5-7
Summary: Calvin Comet Cobble lives deep within the center of the earth at Hidden Shores Orphanage. It sits in the only spot where sunlight streams through. There’s a scary line of darkness that cuts the center of the earth in half. On the other side in the pitch black is the only other facility down there – a maximum security prison for the world’s worst criminals.
Calvin must face the class bully, negligent and mean teachers, a very, very strict principle, and evade his one and only friend, Berneatha, to get the chance to watch Mr. E skip rocks in Lake Artic. The lake surrounds the island of Robert and the walls of the center of the earth surround it. Mr. E can skip a stone all the way to the other side and hit the farthest boundary wall and his offer to teach Cal how to do the same is not one to be passed up!
Why I started this book:
The title. It really says it all in a nutshell! Talk about a cool concept!
- The parallel story of how Bartholomew Roger accidentally finds the Center of the Earth and the two giant screws dead center in the Arctic and Antarctica. No wonder our compasses point so steadily toward them depending on our hemispheric location. This side story also contains the story of who Mr. E is which was neat.
- Cal is the opposite of Harry Potter. Instead of being lauded and praised and watched for something that happened in the past, he’s reviled. Everyone blame his uncontrollable red hair, but red hair is not the problem!
- We’re never really told why the giant screws were there. Is the earth really a globe on some giant alien’s desk? Were they placed there by normal sized aliens? What exactly? I do wish that was covered more.
- Locating the maximum security prison and a certain occupant inside was handled too quickly considering the lengthy set up for where the Hidden Shores Orphanage was and explaining who Mr. E and Cal were to the readers and who was in the prison. Also the resolution afterward was too quick as well.
Last Minute Thoughts: Due to the nature of Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth this book is best suited for younger audiences. (I’m mid twenties.) It’s a cool concept that could be turned into a great series of middle school novels with the right touch.
Rating: 2.5 Treasure Chests
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