The Mythomaniacs by Jules Bass | Dedicated Review
By Jules Bass
E-Book: 322 pages, print length
Age Range: 9-12
Publisher: Eltanin Publishing (November 19, 2013)
What to expect: Mystery, Magic, Spells, Literature, Writing
The Mythomaniacs begins with a quote from Edgar Allen Poe, “All that we see or seem [i]s but a dream within a dream.” The quote is the perfect opening hint that the reader is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. The book begins with a mystery: Gilbert Myrddin wakes up in a hospital having inexplicably aged several decades. He resembles an old man, complete with grizzled exterior and long, white beard. How has this happened and why? His father, Henry, blames himself for fiddling with the spells in an old family heirloom book. From here, Jules Bass takes the reader on an intricate ride through a series of short stories that provide small pieces to the larger puzzle that is the mystery of Gilbert’s sudden aging.
This is a compelling story about a family with the gift of writing, the gift of illustrating and the gift of making magic. Henry, the patriarch of the Myrddin clan, owns a bookstore and writes stories that his son Gilbert illustrates. Each story is teeming with intricate details—some stories are old favorites imbued with a new flavor while others are new stories that are destined to become cherished treasures. Each individual story aims to solve a problem or teach a life lesson and the intricacy of the stories allows the author to introduce new concepts while preserving the essence of the original story. The author’s seamless ability to combine new and old stories and continue the thread within the larger mystery of Gilbert’s predicament is a joy to read.
The Mythomaniacs is well-suited to middle-school readers but is also sure to enchant younger readers as a read-along story. Each story can easily be read on its own or as part of the larger tale—though the caveat here is that some tales might be a little scary for younger readers. It is also a great stepping-off point for introducing readers to some of the great classics: such as Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky and the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Add this book to your collection: The Mythomaniacs
About the Author
Jules Bass has produced several animated films, including The Hobbit, The Last Unicorn, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, as well as several hit animated television shows such as ThunderCats. Jules has written two children’s books for Barefoot Books: Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon and Cooking With Herb. They have been translated into seven languages and reprinted in paperback. Herb received a “Pick Of The Lists” from American Bookseller, Lifeworks Magazine’s the “Real Life Award,” IRA-CBC “Children’s Choices Award”, “top-of-the-children’s list” at American Book Sellers Association. The London Times called Herb one of the best books of the season. It was short-listed for the Kate Greenaway Award and praised by Paul McCartney as: “A magical read for all new thinkers, young and old…” Herb made his television debut on The Food Network.
Bass’ new novel for middle-grade readers from Eltanin Publishing, The Mythomaniacs, takes place in Devon, in the south-west of England, and from there transports the reader into many worlds of fantasy including a quest that leads back to Arthurian times.
For more information, visit: themythomaniacs.weebly.com
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