- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (September 7, 2010)
- ISBN-10: 0061961086
- Source: Publisher
Aldwyn is a rough & tough alley cat on the run from a bounty hunter. He’s able to sneak into a shop and avoids capture. Aldwyn finds himself surrounded by animals of all shapes, sizes, & colors. They aren’t your standard pet store animals, however. They are familiars-animal companions of witches & wizards-and within moments Aldwyn is mistaken for one and adopted by a young boy
When he arrives at his new home, Aldwyn is introduced to the other familiars in the home: Skylar, a blue jay, a bit arrogant about her abilities and Gilbert, a red-eye tree frog who spends most of his time obsessing about when he’s going to eat next. Fearful for blowing his cover, Aldwyn tells the others that he has telekinetic & mind-reading powers.
Just as he starts to get settled into his new home, Aldwyn’s “loyal” Jack, his sister, and another student are kidnapped. Aldwyn, Skylar, & Gilbert are the only ones who can save them. Throughout the journey, Aldwyn learns a great deal about the others, and himself. It turns out he might be a little more than the “average” alley cat!
I read THE FAMILIARS aloud to both of my boys. Despite their six-year age difference, both boys thoroughly enjoyed this book. We’re a house full of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, etc. so it wasn’t a surprise. We all fell in love with the familiars (it doesn’t hurt that our cat, Sylvester, is the spitting image of Aldwyn). They enjoyed the fast-paced excitement; there really is never a dull moment in this book. The art by Peter Chan & Kei Acedera really enhanced the reading experience as well. My youngest is 5, so sometimes it takes a few pictures to keep him engaged. Here are just a few samples of the art:
Considering this is a book written jointly by two authors, I assumed the writing would be disjointed or unorganized. Far from it! It’s seamless, impossible to tell the difference in the writers’ voices. I’m excited to see that Adam & Andrew plan to continue this series and a move is in the works as well. Highly recommended!
Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post about the Familiars Halloween Scavenger Hunt!
Tags: 7-10 years of age, 8-12 years of age, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, familiars, Harper Collins Publishers, Kid-Lit/Middle Grade, magic, middle grade, Review, witchcraft, wizards