Michael J. Bowler
Reviewed by Faryal Jabbar (age 14) for Reader Views (2/16)
Michael J. Bowler’s “Warrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot” is unlike anything I have ever seen or read. Honestly, I did not have high expectations of what I thought was going to be a cheesy book about saving the Earth. However, I found the book was anything, but my assumptions.
Lance, the king of New Camelot in modern day Los Angeles, and his Earth Warrior crew, are in a battle against climate change. Billy, Enya, Itzamna, and Chris along with other friends, or what Lance calls family, face opposition from powerful people in suits. At 18 years old, Lance must maintain his ethics as a leader and set a constant example for the children. His ethics are put to the test, for someone is out to kill him.
Lance and the young Earth Warriors confront the U.S Congress and the world to act against climate change. Along the journey, allies and enemies are formed while the Earth Warriors grow up and learn from new experiences. The book leaves you with a strong message and enjoyable experience.
The overall message to prevent climate change and protect the Earth as well as smaller sub messages is clearly portrayed. After reading the book, I found myself feeling guilty when I left the faucet on too long and thought about Lance’s speeches. The two messages that really stood out to me, and what I took away from the book are, “Every living thing is more than the physical,” (p.157) and “People think about the ‘me’ and what I want instead of ‘we’ and what the world needs,” (p.47).
The book is never still, the characters and plot never bored me. Bowler leaves little cliffhangers throughout the book making you wonder what is going to happen next. The dialogue in the book shows the personality of the characters and creates a sense of imagery. I watched the characters change and saw them through different eyes. Even though there are many different points of view, the transitions are smooth and enhance the story. However, at the end of the book I felt that I had not quite gotten to know some of the important characters.
The book includes a list of ways to save the planet, a study guide, extensions activities, and more, fitting for classrooms. I recommend this book for middle school to early high school students. Serious issues and ideas are addressed in the book. There is some vulgar language, which requires a more mature mind; although the story is written in a way children can understand. People who are interested in climate change, politics, and or a good adventure will enjoy. I saw a few grammar mistakes and printing issues, but it did not affect the story. Also, I personally do not think children and teens nowadays would be intrigued seeing the front cover. Possibly a more relatable cover would have been more effective.
“Warrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot” by Michael J. Bowler is great and inspiring story that will really change the way you look at the world. The characters will show you their lives and thoughts bringing the story to life, shining light on topics most books today overlook. For anyone looking for a good and innovative read, this book is perfect.