This charming children’s story blends many of the commonplace issues that can challenge a youngster--such as a new home (albeit with the added complication of being in an entirely different country), lack of friends, and an uncertain future—with a slowly expanding appreciation of nature and a mystical connection. I love that the animals gradually reveal their hierarchy and true natures, the names they share with Jax are wonderfully appropriate, and the inclusion of the unique names for the group of each particular animal species provides a great resource for discussing new vocabulary words, as does the slang that peppers Jax's language. The climax was a little awkward for me, as the reason behind the major conflict and the resolution didn’t quite gel for me, but that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the story.
There is a wealth of information about nature presented in a very readable and entertaining manner and this book is sure to become a favorite to those who enjoy animal stories such as the ‘Redwall’ series. I think this is a great start to the series and that the tale will appeal to adults and children alike. It is my hope that this will be a long-running series and I will enjoy sharing it with young readers.
“Oldenglen” by Robin Mason and Michael Mason is the initial story in the ‘Oldenglen Chronicles’ series. It introduces a twelve-year-old boy named Jackson (Jax) who has been relocated to Oregon from England, to his dismay. There are no peers around to play with, so Jax begins to explore the woods around his new home, and finds there is a wealth of new experiences available. His growing connection to his new home becomes threatened, and he will have to muster his newfound allies, including a girl named Sarah, to defend the special glen that is home to so many creatures, great and small, and that still may not be enough.
In a rarely explored corner of the Pacific Northwest stands a forested sliver of land steeped in magic that only some can see.
Oldenglen, the first in a new fantasy series for middle-grade readers, introduces Jax, a twelve-year-old city boy from England, forced to move with his parents to a remote part of Oregon. Initially bitter about leaving his life behind, he begins to feel a strange draw to the woods, which only intensifies when he meets Sarah, the granddaughter of the nearest neighbors. Together they begin to unravel the secrets of the glen.
But when invaders threaten the wildwood and its inhabitants, Jax and Sarah?and a most unusual army?must prepare for war.
Great peril has come to Oldenglen, but who and what must Jax and Sarah confront in the battle to save it?