4 out of 4 stars
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The Book of Moncoto by Mosetta Penick Phillips-Cermak is a fantasy fiction story about Dawn Baxter - a teenage girl who goes sailing with her grandmother and is involved in the boat accident on that trip. After the accident, she finds herself on a magical travel adventure away from friends and civilisation. Her quest to return to the life she knew before the accident forms the bane of the plot in this fabulously written fiction story. Her journey leads to unexpected mistakes and consequences. Righting the wrongs takes Dawn on another travel adventure in which she meets new friends and helpers. She learns useful lessons that will be essential for life.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for several reasons. I found it intriguing and suspenseful and at no point in time was I sure about how the story would end or in which direction the plot was heading. The dialogue was natural, and the writing style simple and easy to understand. I especially enjoyed the teenager-adult banter between Dawn and her grandmother at the beginning of the story. It was realistic and believable. The characters were flawed, and it was easy to feel empathy for them. It was amazing to see how Dawn matured in the book as the plot evolved.
The story was filled with information about animal life and their habitats. I liked the way the author added scientific facts about constellations and zodiac to the story. The story taught me that when one adds pursuit to a desire with determination, the person can achieve success. There were lots of lessons about making choices and the consequences of those choices. There were lessons about contentment and gratitude; trust, loyalty, friendship and dependence.
A particular event in the book spoke to me. The lions and bears were living in disunity and distrust. When a cub from each family went missing, each party blamed the other. It is easy to distrust people who are different from us. This is common amongst humans, and we must seek peace, communication, and unity despite our differences. The event reminded me of the prejudices and racism in our world today. In truth, children do not notice the differences that adults do. Even when they do notice, it attracts them to other children and does not repel. Prejudices and racism are taught. No one is born with them.
I think the book was professionally edited because there were minimal grammatical errors in the book. Teenagers and young adults will thoroughly enjoy reading this book. I recommend this book to school and family libraries. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it was an enjoyable read and because there was nothing I disliked about this book.
The Book of Moncoto
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