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D. J. MacHale Pendragon Series Young Adult Book Review -- Books 1 & 2

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Beth Taylor • updated: 9/11/2012

For the middle school reader, MacHale's Pendragon series is action packed in a fantasy world. Bobby Pendragon is a Traveler fighting Saint Dane and trying to save the world. This young adult read starts with Book 1: Merchant of Death and moves to Book 2: Lost City of Faar.

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    The first two books of the Pendragon series are great young adult fantasy novels to recommend to middle school students. They are both fast reads that boys and girls will enjoy. Students will start Book One and read all the way to Book Ten after they start caring about the likable Bobby Pendragon and the future of Halla.The evil Saint Dain keeps the action hopping, and Bobby grows from an average middle school student to a heroic young man. For students who are involved in Accelerated Reader, the book level is 4.4 book 1 and 4.9 book 2.

    Book 1 and Traveling

    Bobby Pendragon begins in Book 1: Merchant of Death [Simon and Schuster, 2007] as a 14-year-old boy whose parents, sister Shannon and dog Marley disappear. His Uncle Press takes him on adventures to save the world and all of Halla from Saint Dane, who is pure evil. And, by the way, Saint Dane can morph into about any living being.

    Travelers Fly the Flume

    Bobby finds out that he is a Traveler. Travelers get to go from world to world, which transcend time, through the flumes to save all of humanity. These transportation holes take Travelers to a world they call out as they begin moving. The flumes are all marked with a unique star symbols. And, of course, Saint Dane keeps scary creatures hanging around the openings to attack the Travelers. Pendragon's first fight is on Denduron where he fights with Loor and her mother, who are from another world called Zadaa.

    Keeping Friends in the Loop

    Back on Second Earth, Bobby's home, his friends Mark and Courtney await his journals that appear from Mark's special ring. Courtney is athletic and good looking. She and Bobby never quite make it to girlfirend/boyfirend, but they like each other. Mark is smart, geeky and Bobby's friend. The unlikely duo keep up with Bobby's adventures and await each new installment. They sneak around reading the journals because the police want to know what happened to Bobby and his family.

    A World of Water

    Book 2: Lost City of Faar takes place on Cloral. This is a world covered in water and has a place like Atlantis called Faar. Saint Dane shows up trying to take advantage of a brewing civil war due to a mishap with the food production. Pendragon picks up a new Traveler, Spader, but loses Uncle Press. Unfortunately, all of the new Travelers lose their parents. They must press on to keep fighting evil Saint Dane.

    There are 10 books in all. This series can be predictable at times, and some of the characters are not fully developed. However, it is a fun read. Middle school readers appreciate the action and the relationships. Good versus evil is always a great theme, and it plays throughout the whole series. Many will want to grab the next book in the series to find out where Bobby Pendragon goes next.

Young Adult Books in a Series

Looking for interesting, action packed novels that keep a middle school student turning the pages? The books reviewed are ones that students tend to enjoy and ones that have multiple books in a series.
  1. D. J. MacHale Pendragon Series Young Adult Book Review -- Books 1 & 2
  2. Review of Stephenie Meyer and Twilight Saga
  3. Maximum Ride Series – Book Review for Middle School
  4. Review of Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini -- Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr

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