Title: Land of Corn Chips
Author: Angela Carlie
Publisher: Darkside Publishing
Pages: Ebook; 100
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Intended Reading Group:
Minor violence and gore
3 Keys to My Heart
Eleven-year-old Nate Hansen never believed in dragons before an eccentric man with a purple-feather hat kidnaps him. Spirited to the Land of Corn Chips on the back of a mechanical yellow dragon, Nate must find a way to avoid being ground into compost. His only hope of escape is to earn the friendship of the local wrestling gang and zombie kids, and to believe in a parent he no longer trusts.
I'm honestly not one hundred percent sure how to explain my feelings about this book. Land of Corn Chips is the first fantasy based middle grade book that I've read, and it was definitely an experience. I kept having to remind myself that I was seeing this world through a much younger person's eyes. However once I was able to get into that mindset, I began to understand the world that Nate was immersed in. I must admit, it's a rather interesting place to be!
Young readers will be treated to a very believable protagonist. Nate has problems like any other young person. His dad is spending more time with his new family, rather than with him. His dad keeps missing his important football games. Worst of all, his dad doesn't tend to follow through with his promises. Sound familiar? To a lot of kids out there it definitely will. Lest you think that Nate is whiny about all of this, he's not! Instead he's quite an intelligent young boy. I liked how he thought everything through when he was faced with a problem.
Enter Cornelius Chip. Nate is whisked magically off to a place where he might have thought he wanted to be, but now realizes was a mistake! See Nate wishes he could grow up so he can take care of himself and not have to rely on his parents. Again, sound familiar? Let's just say his wish is granted. What ensues is a fascinating, sometimes slightly confusing but always fun, adventure. Yet again I must applaud Nate's character. This setting brings out even more of his resourcefulness and tenacity. This boy doesn't give up, and I adored him for that.
Land of Corn Chips is definitely a different kind of middle grade novel than I've ever read before. I applaud Angela Carlie for meshing a very realistic character and such a quirky and interesting world. I'll admit that it took me a little while to get into the book at first, but once I finally understood exactly what was to come, I did enjoy reading about Nate and his adventure. A truer hero I don't think you'll find. Nate doesn't give up, and he teaches his young readers not to give up either.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.