Recommended for ages 10-13
Fin is the perfect thief – any memory of him fades from everyone he meets. But one day, he gets a letter – someone knows him – and offers him a mission that will help him find his mother. He finds his way to the magical Pirate Stream, a waterway that connects every world in creation, where he encounters Marrill, a schoolgirl from Arizona, who’s just trying to get home, a young pirate captain, and a wizard, all searching for the pieces of a Map to Everywhere – the only problem is, an evil wizard and his crew are in search of the same Map, so he can end the world.
We’ve got the makings of a big pirate adventure with this series: two promising young heroes, a wizard and a captain that will almost certainly see more development as the series proceeds, and a world-ending Big Bad. Both Fin and Marrill have their own motivations, which give us some interesting subplots and leave us in a good place for future adventures.
I admit that I struggled with the book, overall. There was something that didn’t hook me right away, a sense of needing something more. About halfway through, I was finally on board and engaged. I don’t think middle grade adventure and fantasy lovers will have this issue at all, though. With strong male and female characters, a sharp sense of humor and exciting storytelling, this will be a good summer reading choice.
Carrie Ryan is best known for her YA post-apocalyptic series, beginning with The Forest of Hands and Teeth; she’s writing this series with her husband, first-time novelist John Parke Davis. You can find activity sheets and extras on the Map to Everywhere site, which also features links to the first eight chapters via Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.