John Flanagan's bestselling Ranger s Apprentice adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. The series has come a long way since then. Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the New York Times Bestseller list and has been shortlisted for children's book awards in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer, lives with his wife, Leonie, in the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly. He is currently writing further titles in the Ranger s Apprentice series as well as the exciting new Brotherband series.
Gr 4-8-Right from the start, listeners will become engrossed in the first book (Philomel, 2005) of John Flanagan's projected series (Philomel Books, 2005), which is reminiscent of Tolkien minus the allegory. On Choosing Day, when wards of the castle become apprentices, 15-year-old Will doesn't get his first choice of attending Battle School, where knights are trained. Instead, he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger, whose lessons on stealth and intelligence gathering lead Will to a new understanding of honor and valor. As the evil Morgarath is planning a war and killing off the kingdom's leaders, Will's courage and determination are tested. Filled with rich detail and plenty of edge-of-your-seat thrills, Flanagan's word choice and writing style lend themselves to the quasi-historical time period and setting. The characters are developed believably, only veering slightly into stereotypes with the bullies at the Battle School. John Keating's erudite and compelling voices make this well-paced story come alive. Listeners will eagerly await the next installment in the series. A fine choice for middle schools and public libraries.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, Oxford, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.