3 out of 4 stars
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Jirvania is in danger, and only two children named Jack and Mia are the ones who can save it and keep imagination alive. Julu, by Jan Anderegg starts off with a time when Jirvania seems to not exist anymore due to tragedy. But the story can be changed, which is where Jack and Mia come in, along with a dragon named Julu. It is up to them to change the story so that Jirvania can still exist and imagination is safe.
I think that this is a pretty interesting story. The author seems to have put in quite a bit of effort into creating Jirvania, and it was cool to know that there were some references to other stories. However, it was a bit much. The concept of the Great Library was the best part of the novel, as well as the fact that the characters can physically visit the worlds the books contain instead of how we all visit them. The development of the characters seems to be okay, and they were different enough to be seen as their own characters and not all the same. The descriptions of scenes and such were great to read as well, and easy to picture in my mind. It also seems to be edited well.
Two other great things about Julu is that at the end of the story there is a character reference guide and a list of historical and mythological characters. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, so both the guide and list are useful if the reader wants to remember who a character is.
While this book is great for a younger audience, they might have to keep close attention since there are many time skips, probably too many, which might be hard for young readers to follow. Taking note of what happens may help with that. It also includes a time alert and setting which makes things easier, too.
Another negative thing about this book is that it does contain a swear word in chapter twenty-two, which is definitely inappropriate for children. That makes me hesitant to recommend Julu to them. I'd recommend it more for those who not only like stories with creative worlds, but are also already familiar with swear words so that they wouldn't be surprised if that shows up.
With that said, I rate Jan Anderegg's Julu 3 out of 4 stars. It's not that bad of a book, and readers will enjoy the adventure.
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