Reading has a way of taking the reader on an unexpected journal. Through the trials, tribulations, and successes. The act itself should leave the reader in a state of awe, and the sign of any good book is to leave us wanting more. I am always on the journey to find books to read as a family. Books that inspire, and empower. This is why I couldn’t contain myself when I was given the opportunity to review the Hamelin Stoop Series from 12 Gates Publishing.
About The Author
Before I delve right in and give you the scoop on Hamelin Stoop, I want to first let you know about the author himself, Robert B. Sloan. Dr. Sloan is the president of Houston Baptist University in Texas. During the course of his professional career, he has been a professor, minister, coach, and writer. Together, he and his wife Sue have raised 7 children, and are grandparents to 20 grandchildren. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Sloan, click the picture below.
The Scoop on Stoop
I was given the first two books in what is planned to be a 6 or 7 book adventure series.
The intended audience is anyone who loves middle-grade fantasy books but can be easily adapted to be enjoyed by a variety of readers.
We chose to read these books together, as a read-aloud, as we do with almost all young adult fantasy books. This is really for a tri-fold purpose. First, it allows us to connect as a family through literature. Secondly, we all learn what is happening together, and we don’t have to worry about spoilers taking place. Finally, my kids are exposed to genres and storylines they might not typically choose for themselves.
After we read chapters together, my children are able to re-read them. This helps build their reading levels and lets them make meanings for themselves.
The books are very lengthy. Each book has 41 chapters, and are 320 and 291 pages long, respectively. We read about three chapters a day, and it took us about a month to finish both books.
So who is Hamelin, and what is this series about?
“Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, The Cave, and The Footbridge” is the first book in the young adult book series. We begin by meeting Simon and Johnnie, and their young infant. Simon and Johnnie are being tracked, in an attempt to abduct all three of them. In order to save their child from suffering the same fate that Johnnie lived through as a child, they must do the unthinkable. They are being forced to protect their child by abandoning him in the same place where Johnnie herself was raised. after her escape from Ren’dal. The Upton County Children’s Home is where she takes her son to ensure that he is safe.
When the infant is found on the stoop of the children’s home, abandoned in a tomato box, he is named Hamelin Stoop. After 8 years of being at the children’s home, and one fateful day in which his birthday was forgotten, Hamelin chooses to run away. We are taken along with Hamelin as he follows an eagle through an incredible journey to the path of discovery. This book is the story of Hamelin, and who he is, but also it is the story of his parents. Through his courageous actions and the help of friends and amazing characters, he must defeat the evil Chimera and his three sons to find the answers that he seeks.
“Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna” is the second story. It is in this book that we follow Hamelin on his journey across the footbridge. However, the Great Eagle tells him that his journey must be sidetracked because he must save a kidnapped princess and a stolen jewel. With the aide of special gifts such as a scarf, shoes, and a sword, Hamelin goes on an unforgettable adventure in which he learns that actions have real consequences.
What did we think?
These stories were unlike any that we had previously used as a read aloud. Although it is classical fiction, these stories are full of ancient myths. Sloan did an amazing job of hooking us into the story, and providing a plot that both piqued our interest, but answered our questions as well. Such questions included: Who is Ren’dal? What does he want with Johnnie and Hamelin? What was written on the note that Johnnie left with Hamelin on the stoop?
While these books are clean fiction, there were some issues that I had. For one, there were a few instances in which the characters discuss “making a baby”. At one point the character Ren’dal even says “Doesn’t that fool know what it takes to make a baby?” This prompted some questions from my 8- year-old son, that I wasn’t entirely prepared to answer. I bought myself some time, by telling him we would talk about it later so that I could formulate my answer. Since these books are geared for middle school reading, I would venture to guess it wouldn’t be such a big issue for parents of older children.
I will say that these books were triggers for my children. We are a unique family, born of adoption. My children were in the foster care system, and the story of Hamelin really resonated with them. However, it also brought about issues that I didn’t think about. For instance, Hamelin’s mom abandoned him out of love, in order to protect him. This was not the case for my children. My oldest daughter questioned why their birth mom didn’t give them up to protect them but chose to expose them to the negative things in her life. My middle son thought that maybe they were destined to big things like Hamelin was, and I would have to say that I agree.
How To Connect?
If you would like to learn more about Hamelin’s adventures or connect with the author, you may do so by using any of the following social media platforms.
If you would like to read what other members of the “Review Crew” thought about these books, click the banner below.