Again, I may have missed my calling teaching kids to read, but then again, I like to read for enjoyment, not to dissect a story, characters, and plot within an inch of their lives for a deeper understanding.
Let me read to read, enjoy, get a little lost, and maybe learn something new.
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle is one of those books I suspect is being picked apart bit by bit to have every microscopic element examined and analyzed. It’s a good one.
A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of menacing birds: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel rescues an orphaned baby raven named Paladin, he discovers a family secret: Finleys can bond with ravens in extraordinary ways. Along with Paladin and three valiant friends, Gabriel sets out to bring his father home. They soon discover that Adam is being held captive by the evil demon Corax—half man, half raven, and Adam’s very own disgraced brother—in a foreboding netherworld of birds called Aviopolis. With help from his army of ghoulish minions, the valravens, Corax is plotting to take over the land above, and now only Gabriel stands in his way.
The book took a little to get into, but once the action got going in part 2, I really liked it. It had riddles to decipher, magic, mystery and adventure. While the components were quite fantastical, they fit the characters and the plot of the story well. I appreciated the compassionate tones that ran through he book as Gabriel was on his quest to save his father, the commentary on human (and raven) nature, and the characters.
There were some dark and what might be scary portions of this book. It’s geared to 4-7th graders. It would be okay for many, it wouldn’t be awesome if you had a more sensitive child.
Is this something you’d read? Would you read it with your child? Hand it to them? Why or why not.