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The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Many years ago, a Great Accident caused magic to vanish from the Kingdom of Fontania. Ever since, its Provisional Monarch, the beauty-obsessed Lady Gall, has punished anyone who dared speak the forbidden "m-word." Jasper Ludlow, 12, is the one who will end her tyrannical reign and restore magic to the land. Shortly after he witnesses Lady Gall trying to poison his baby sister, Sibilla, the Ludlows flee the City of Spires. Accidentally left behind, Jasper takes refuge on the Traveling Restaurant, a colorful ship crewed by quirky Dr. Rocket and his feisty assistant, Polly. He convinces his shipmates to rescue the land's true queen. In doing so, Jasper learns of his and Sibilla's royal destiny. Else's high-seas tale is filled with danger, intrigue, and adventure. Unfortunately, the plot is predictable and slow to gather steam. Even avid readers may find it challenging to stay engaged for any length. Further, the characters are one-dimensional, making it difficult for readers to form any real connection to them. —Alissa LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, Oxford MI
Kirkus Reviews
A seemingly ordinary lad boards a seagoing eatery and is swept up in a series of flights and pursuits that lead him to a higher destiny than he expects (or even wants, particularly). Having banished all magic (even mention of the word) from the realm of Fontania, evil Lady Gall is on her way to removing the "Provisional" from her title of "Provisional Monarch." Her attempt to poison Jasper's beloved little sister Sibilla pitches his secretive extended family into hurried flight. Outraged and confused, Jasper is somehow left behind--but wangles a berth aboard the Traveling Restaurant, a floating diner painted like a circus wagon, and sets out to catch up. Else arranges her narrative into short chapters with titles like "This Is When It Becomes Fraught" and strews it with pirates, wild waters, sudden twists of fortune, family revelations and scrumptious tucker (Jasper finds a snatched chunk of salami "a farmyard of deliciousness in one mouthful"). She sets her quick-witted protagonist on a course that not only sharpens his already-considerable culinary skills but gives him a central role in rescuing his shipwrecked family, decisively scotching Lady Gall's schemes and restoring magic to the land. Jasper does this with help from a supporting cast stocked with likable enemies, sometimes-unlikable allies and one particularly perspicuous toddler. A heaping plateful of adventure, spiced to perfection with dangers, deft humor and silly bits. (Fantasy. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781877579035
  • Publisher: Gecko Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Pages: 295
  • Sales rank: 1,013,410
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2014

    This is an interesting read. It's a middle grade novel about a b

    This is an interesting read. It's a middle grade novel about a boy named Jasper. His parents leave him behind when they flee from the clutches of an evil Provisional Queen. He finds refuge on a small vessel called The Traveling Restaurant. With the help of the boat's Captain and Polly (the only other crew member), he goes in search of his lost family members while trying to elude the grasp of the Queen.

    The book is well written and the plot is somewhat entertaining. There are bursts of excitement, usually when the Restaurant pulls into harbor, or when they meet another ship on the Old Ocean. Between these bursts, parts of the story tend to drag. The content is clean, and the characters are generally likable, yet elusive. Nobody answers questions—at least not honestly.

    This book is for a specific type of reader. I can't decide if I liked it or not. If you have access to the book (like through your library), give it a shot. You may love it.

    Content: clean

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