Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps Series #1)

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps Series #1)

4.5 153
by Obert Skye, Ben Sowards (Illustrator)

See All Formats & Editions


Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (a.k.a. "Lev") lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds -- the real world and Foo, a place created at the at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it



Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (a.k.a. "Lev") lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds -- the real world and Foo, a place created at the at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, aspire and imagine. But Foo is in chaos, and three transplants from that dreamworld have been sent to retrieve Lev, who alone has the power to save Foo.

Enter Clover, a wisecracking, foot-high sidekick; Winter, a girl with a special power of her own; and Geth, the rightful heir to Foo. Their mission: to convince Lev that he has the power to save Foo. Can this unique band of travelers help Lev overcome his doubt? Will Lev find the gateway in time? Or will Sabine and his dark shadows find the gateway first and destroy mankind?

Editorial Reviews

Leven Thumps is a teenage Oklahoma orphan, eking out a dull existence in the misleadingly named Rolling Greens Deluxe Mobile Home Park. Lev knows that his life needs a jump-start, but he isn't prepared for the sudden realization that he holds a very special power. This timid 14-year-old boy cannot only glimpse into the future; he can manipulate it. At stake is nothing less than the power to dream. First published as a small press hardcover, Obert Sky's debut novel has enthralled nearly every reader it has touched.
Publishers Weekly
Originally published by Shadow Mountain in Salt Lake City, Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye, illus. by Ben Sowards, is now being distributed in hardcover by Simon & Schuster, which is publishing this title as an Aladdin paperback . This YA fantasy about an Oklahoma orphan who finds the secret gateway to Foo, a mythical land where it is possible for humans to hope, dream and imagine, has already sold more than 60,000 copies in hardcover. The second title in the planned five-book series, Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret, will release in October. See Children's Bookshelf, June 1, for the complete story. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews

"Splendidly unpredictable plot twists. . . . [With] deliciously menacing monsters, equally delicious turns of phrase, and sly riffs on everything from pop music to Harry Potter, the author sends Leven Thumps and company on a long, strange trip, culminating in a literally explosive climax."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This rollicking, suavely told tale should captivate readers."

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Two teens, a small, furry "sycophant," and a talking toothpick try to prevent evil forces from destroying two worlds in this lighthearted fantasy. "Foo" is the world from which all dreams come, and the villainous Sabine wants to find the gateway from there into our world. This would destroy both worlds, so the reluctant title hero and his magical companions try to prevent it. The complicated plot unwinds through a playful narrative that tries, often unsuccessfully, to mix humor and suspense. There are some funny moments, but many attempts at comedy seem forced or distracting. An urgent race to Germany includes some clever plot twists, as when Leven's friend Winter uses her ice-creating power to turn an ocean into a road, but their quest never becomes truly exciting. When it turns out that the ominous "Shadows" under Sabine's command can be dismissed by a simple hand clap, it's mildly amusing, but detracts from the sense of true danger that makes an involving adventure. Leven's self-doubts and changes of heart are almost tedious, and there's little chemistry between him and Winter. Adult characters are mean, dull, and unattractive, which results in some Dahl-like humor, but soon gets repetitive. Despite some solid humor and an occasionally intriguing plot, there's not enough cohesion or consistency here to make this a rewarding fantasy.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Splendidly unpredictable plot twists. . . . [With] deliciously menacing monsters, equally delicious turns of phrase, and sly riffs on everything from pop music to Harry Potter, the author sends Leven Thumps and company on a long, strange trip, culminating in a literally explosive climax." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Excellent . . . palpable excitement and suspense. Kids and adults will enjoy this charming tale of good and evil." -- Publishers Weekly

"This rollicking, suavely told tale should captivate readers." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product Details

Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date:
Leven Thumps Series , #1
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

By Obert Skye


Copyright © 2006 Obert Skye
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1416928065


A Relative of Foo

The Birth of Leven

Who can say for sure what constitutes the perfect birth? Perhaps a mother, while playing cards and sipping lemonade, might simply hiccup, pat her stomach, and there in her arms would be a beautiful child, already diapered and pink-cheeked, looking up at her and emitting a soft coo. That wouldn't be too bad.

Or perhaps, while taking a nice ride up the coastline on a golden afternoon, a woman might tap her husband on the shoulder and say, "Look what I found."

Together they would peer into the backseat and there would be their lovely newborn buckled in a car seat and sleeping blissfully. A person could argue that that scenario would be perfect to a lot of people.

Well, Leven Thumps experienced nothing of the sort. He came into the world like a delivery that no one knew what to do with and nobody wanted to sign for. His father had passed away in a tragic car accident only a week before his arrival, sending his mother spiraling down into a deep pit of grief and mourning. Her only hope was in knowing that the husband she had lost wouldlive on in the son she was about to give birth to. Two days before the delivery her health suddenly began to deteriorate. She couldn't stand, she couldn't sleep, and she found it difficult to even breathe.

On October fifteenth, at 2:30 in the morning, Maria Thumps knew she was not long for this world. She called her neighbor, who came immediately and quickly drove Maria to the hospital. Maria had been inside the hospital for only five minutes when her son was born. The child had a head of thick dark hair and wise open eyes.

The doctor placed the baby in her hands, and for the first time in a while Maria smiled. "Leven," she whispered.

Maria's smile began to fade. Her face paled to a new shade of white. She clenched her eyes shut and began to struggle for breath. Her hands twitched and Leven rolled from her arms and into her lap. Every machine in the room with a voice immediately began to wail and frantically beep, and the lights suddenly dimmed. Doctors and nurses huddled over Maria, trying desperately to work a miracle. It was no use. A tall doctor picked up Leven and handed him to one of the attending nurses. She stepped quickly out of the room with the child, saving him from the scene and pulling him away from the last person on earth who would love him for some time. Two minutes later Maria Thumps closed her eyes, ceased her labored breathing, and passed away.

Leven lay alone in the hospital nursery for days. Every morning at 10:00 and each afternoon at 3:15, a different nurse would come in, pick him up, and hold him for exactly four and a half minutes. Other than that he was touched only when being fed or changed. The hospital staff whispered about what to do with him, waiting for the state to decide, but the wheels of compassion were slow to get moving. Everyone was holding out hope that a kindly relative or family member might be found and the little orphan would be taken away and off their hands. The hospital was already short-staffed and money was hard to come by, thanks in part to a dozen or so recent malpractice law suits the administrators had been forced to settle.

On the fourth day following Leven's birth, the prayers in his behalf were answered. Well, sort of. Contact had been made with a half sister of Leven's mom. Her name was Addy Graph, and at this very moment, she was on her way to the hospital from one state over and two states up.

She arrived that evening, bringing with her a violent rainstorm that battered the hospital. Addy pulled up in a dull-looking black car with only one headlight and a mismatched door. The car shuddered to a stop in the spot reserved for ambulances and Addy Graph got out. Addy was not a pleasant-looking woman. She was heavy-set and had a high forehead and no lips. Her flesh was pasty white, and the veins beneath her chalky skin were not only visible, they were bulging, as if there were too much thick blood coursing through them. She had a protruding stomach and skinny legs you felt sorry for due to the big ball of weight they were called upon to support.

She slammed the mismatched car door and held a newspaper over her frizzy hair as she cursed the weather and moved toward the entrance to the hospital.

As she walked away from her car, a little security guard with a whistle around his neck hollered out at her. "This is for emergency personnel only," he chirped. "You'll have to move your car."

Addy glared at him. "Excuse me?" she sneered, her neck veins bulging.

The short man cleared his throat. "No unauthorized vehicles allowed." He made a large circle with his arm, indicating the area. "Your car must be moved."

"Then move it," Addy snapped. She pushed past him and into the hospital.

The young woman at the reception desk did her best to welcome Addy, but her pleasant greeting was met with total disgust.

"I drive all day and then when I get here some Neanderthal with a whistle tries to tell me where to park," Addy growled.

"I'm sorry . . ." the young girl tried. "But we -- "

"Stow it. I'm here to pick up a kid," Addy interrupted, dismissing whatever the girl was about to say. "His mother died, so I'm saddled with him."

"Saddled?" the girl asked, confused.

"Stuck with him," she snarled.

"So you want the nursery?"

"What I want and what I'm about to get are two different things, Sweety. I've already spent too much money coming to fetch this brat."

"I'm sure someday he'll be grateful," the girl said, trying to be kind.

"I'd take that bet, if I thought you were good for it," Addy sniffed. "Now where's the nursery?"

For a moment, the young girl considered pointing in the wrong direction -- thinking that might buy her some time to race up the stairs and rescue the poor baby that was going to be stuck with this piece of work. But she had to stay and answer the phone, so she simply pointed to the stairs and said, "The nursery's on the fourth floor, east wing."

"There had better be an elevator," Addy huffed.

"There is, just past the stairs."

Addy stormed off, mumbling and criticizing everything she passed. The elevator took too long to come. The inside of it smelled funny. The person at the reception desk for the nursery was curt. The nursery was cold. The floor was dirty. The staff was unfriendly.

By the time she finally laid eyes on the child she was completely out of sorts.

"That's him?" she almost laughed. "He's so small."

Leven squinted at her.

"He's just about the right size," the nurse on duty said.

"For what?" Addy sniffed.

"He'll be old before you know it," the nurse tried. "Babies grow so -- "

"Thank you," Addy snipped. "I'm perfectly aware that babies grow. Do I need to sign something?"

The nurse was dumbfounded. Sure, all of the years she had worked there had made her a bit callused and bored. Babies were born every day, and it had long since ceased to be a miracle to her. She had seen everything. She once saw a baby born with two heads. She had even seen newborns come out laughing. She had also seen a dozen or so children be born and pronounced dead only to come alive again minutes later. She had seen a lot, but this loud, vicious lady was uglier and meaner than anything she could remember.

"I'll get the doctor," the nurse said, biting her lip. She stepped away, leaving Addy alone with her new responsibility.

Addy eyed Leven coldly. She sniffed again and looked away. When she looked back he was still there. She lifted up one of his legs and looked at it. She touched Leven's head. She scowled. She put her hand on the baby's arm and gingerly lifted it as if it might be diseased.

She dropped the tiny arm, screaming.

A huge, hairy, gray ball scurried out from under Leven, circled over his stomach, and rolled back under him.

Addy screamed hysterically as she pushed back and away, knocking over an empty cart and sending diapers and baby shampoo everywhere. The shampoo bottles exploded all over the floor, causing Addy to lose her footing and fall hard onto her rear. Her rump seemed to pop as a loud rush of air escaped her screaming, lipless mouth. A small team of nurses and a couple of doctors rushed through the door wondering what could possibly be going on to generate so much noise.

Addy just sat there, screaming and pointing. The nurse, who had had the pleasure of talking with her just moments before, filled a cup with water and happily threw it in Addy's face.

Sputtering, Addy said, "A rat. There's a giant rat on that child."

The medical staff all looked at the baby. No rat. Leven was simply lying there with his eyes wide open and a serious look on his face.

"That's impossible," one of the doctors said. "There are no rats here. Besides, it wouldn't be able to climb into the cart."

"Maybe it fell from the ceiling," Addy offered.

Everyone looked at the ceiling. It looked okay, no holes or possible way for a rat to fall from it.

Two nurses tried to help Addy to her feet, but thanks to the soapy floor, they lost their footing and also went down. Their flailing limbs knocked the legs out from under one of the doctors, and he fell, taking two more nurses with him. Everyone scrambled across the slippery floor, reaching for something to pull themselves to their feet with. It took a number of tries, but eventually everyone was standing again.

Once up they all carefully worked their way over to the baby. One of the nurses picked him up and inspected him.

"I don't see a rat," she said.

"It's there," Addy cried. "I saw it with my own two eyes. He was huge."

One of the doctors loosened the diaper and made sure the supposed rat had not hidden in there.

"No rat," he declared. "I've worked here for twenty years, and I have never seen a rat."

"Well, I've been here for a little over twenty minutes and already I've seen one," Addy said meanly. "Give me the child so I can take him somewhere safe."

"There are a few papers we need you to fill out," the doctor informed her. "And we have some questions and information for you."

"Fine, just hurry. I have a long drive back."

Everyone left the room except for one nurse who was on her hands and knees trying to clean up the soapy mess while the baby slept. Neither she nor Leven noticed Clover as he once again slipped up over him and scurried back underneath. Smiling.

Copyright © 2005 by Obert Skye


Excerpted from Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye Copyright © 2006 by Obert Skye. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet the Author

Obert Skye was born on a stormy night in the back of a fast-moving taxi. Obert spends his time telling all who will listen about the existence of Foo and the importance of dreams. Obert is a fairly ordinary fellow who says he is simply hoping to repair what he has mistakenly undone. You can visit him online at www.leventhumps.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 153 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my god i loved this book it had the magic and wonder i was looking for!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I like the book its so action filled i love it
224perweek More than 1 year ago
Boring boring boring. I just could not get into the story. The characters were dull and the action was not there. I was really hoping for more. Very disappointed.
ReadsTooMuch0 More than 1 year ago
It REALLY bothers me that every malicious character in this book is fat. Not just fat, they're grotesque. They spit, slobber, overeat, have ugly hair, bad breath etc. It's like saying every muslim is a terrorist or every african american is a thug. I have two very close friends that are full figured women and they are absolutely beautiful. TWhat's worse is that the only 'bad' character in the book that isn't fat is the main evil guy, the head honcho, the comander in chief. Something seems very wrong with that to me. and very sterotypical? I don't hold against him the similarities to the Harry Potter books. These days it's about impossible to not pull from other books, since, really, what hasn't been written? Nothing is original anymore. What I hold against him is the slow pace of the book, poor character development, comediac antecdotes that aren't funny, filler information with the sole purpose of wasting pages that could be better used for creating well rounded characters, and having a main character that doesn't actually want to BE the main character. I'm 24 so I'm not exactly the audience that this book is directed at but I love kid's/preteen books. Artemis Fowl, Keys to the Kingdom, Seventh Tower, Inkheart, So You Want to be a Wizard, etc. There are good children's series out there, I just don't think that this is one of them.
Zephyr0 More than 1 year ago
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo is an amazing book full of lovable characters and a plot that makes this book difficult to put down. It is an easy read full of charm and wit. Obert Skye creates an original world and unique set of characters including a furry little creature called a sycophant who is not a self serving flatterer as the definition proclaims, an evil being that has become so full of hate that he inhales and exhale shadows, a talking toothpick that travels by fate, a rant that is half dream half himself, a girl with wild hair who can turn things to ice with nothing but a thought, and a boy who must be convinced that he matters so that Foo (a world that allows man-kind to dream and aspire) can be saved. This book helps those who read it to remember that everything happens for a purpose, the character Geth is a strong advocate of this. "I am who I am because I have made myself so."This is a quote from the book that punctuates the point that you can change your current state, you can make your life the way you want it to be and you can become who you aspire to be but, you must do something about it first. I reemerged changed after reading this book. I have read this series several times. I suggest you do not just read the first book. The whole series is blossoming with vivid imaginative ideas. In the next book Foo is revealed even more in all its glorious colors. I give this whole series the full five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok i gess.the rest of the books are wwwwaaaaayyyyy better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It doesent intrest me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended &#9786 &hearts &star
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have and questions or ideas, post them here. Also if you will be gone for a certain period of time, post here. Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes it is it has alot of things like harry potter<> <><><<><><><><><><<><><><>>\><><>><><><><><><><> i miss my pig she died tonight she was just3 weeks old icanntot express my sadnnes her name was diamond ;( ;(;(;(;(;(;(;( RIP
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just finished the harry potter series and have wanting to look for a companion? Any suggestions?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read revues it sounds good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!! The rest of the series is even better. If you like awesome fairytales this is the book for you. If you don't like monsters or magical lands, don't read this book. Honestly this book is better than, The Beyonders, or Fablehaven.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was flabbergasted!After reading this book,I think I finally found a book that matches the HARRY POTTER series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and i am 13
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is surely an amzing book most of my family lo ed it its awesome i would surely suggest you read it to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book you'll read in you life! Obert Skye's imagination is gonna make this book the best book ever. Read his other books too, like Wonkenstein, and the other Levin Thumps books too! Warning: Spoilers Start Here Levin's life starts out tragically. He never got to know his mom or dad. When Levin was 4 during a wind storm he suddenly turned 14! A few days later he met a srange creacher came out from under his bed named Clover. Notice: Spoilers end here. Leven Thumps is a must have book for guys and gals everywhere! S
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheBibliophileYL More than 1 year ago
SPOILER ALERT!!! Don't read unless you don't mind! All the books were amazing. Clover is my favorite. He is hilarious! There are five books in this series and you would have thought that after FIVE books, that the fifth book, at the ending, the wrapping up of the entire plot, that this author would have done a better job for an ending. Rather, he spent many pages in what was practically the same scene only to give one TIIIINY little chapter to the give us a happy ending! What the heck??!!! The author is like Clover. He likes the middle of books, but not the end. So obvious and what a dissapointment! If I could somehow manage to forget the ending, which was wanting, I would have giving this series a solid five stars, as it is I can't. I was so mad...gave the books away to donation. Couldn't stand to see this series on my book shelves which I know is a little harsh, but I am a bibliophile.