How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings by Laura Pauling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After not hearing from her grandfather, Zeb, in two years Bianca and her family go in search of answers. But then Bianca does specifically what she’s been told not to do, goes into the cursed jungle with her cousin, Melvin. Forced into life or death tests to find Zeb, Bianca finds herself keeping secrets and putting both her life and Melvin’s in mortal danger. I loved How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings so much! It was such a great fun read. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story and characters.
Bianca was a great lead character. She is a strong character who knows how to go after what she wants and puts her family first, even if it means putting herself in danger at the same time. Melvin is the perfect cousin to Bianca. Although he isn’t quite sure what Bianca’s issues are in the beginning of the story he sticks by her because she’s family and he refuses to let her go on this crazy adventure alone. I absolutely loved Aunt June’s quirkiness. Every time she was mentioned I had to giggle. Her tactics are a bit over the top, but excellent! I loved Zeb and his preoccupation with the ancient Mayans. I can’t imagine any anthropologist/archeologist who wouldn’t get swept up in his discovery. I could clearly picture the Mayans and their desperation to find a solution to their ancient spell and prophecy.
The writing was spot on for middle grade readers. I loved how Pauling adding in little references to things gone awry in Bianca’s past with regards to school and friendships. Most of the references made me giggle, Bianca is a truly fun character to get to know. I could picture everything so well and loved having a glimpse into an ancient Mayan civilization. It was great!
This was such a great read and I can’t imagine not having it on my classroom shelf (when I get a classroom). I will definitely be recommending it to anyone who reads middle grade books.
How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
You can find out more about Laura on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.