Middle graders will find Maya thoughtful and intriguing. As her adventure traverses otherworldly realms, the fantasy component of her encounters lends to a powerful exploration of her evolving strengths and ability to not just adjust, but break free of the dead-end loop her former life became.
As she discovers the truths surrounding her family heritage and her abilities ("only the Loops can restart the clock"), she faces new choices that lead her to question what she really wants from her life.
Especially powerful passages explore her psyche and the difficult choices involved in saving not just herself, but others: "An old anger swells in my gut. The kind I feel when kids push other kids around in the halls or take their lunch or steal their backpacks. The anger and fear that arises when I'm not sure I can make the situation right. The anger of helplessness. Bullies feed off of it. I try to swallow it back, but it stays. I don't know what to do. My sketchpad is in my hand, but it's not an option. Not now. Drawing a door will get me out of this mess but it leaves everyone else behind. Drawing a door doesn't prevent the Landions from finding that one final piece and erasing us all."
The result is a story driven by Maya's changing emotions, life, and abilities that will draw readers also challenged to accept new circumstances, relationships, and perceptions about life and its purposes.
Readers interested in a passionate journey of determination and evolving wisdom will find Maya Loop unpredictable, driven by understandable emotions and extraordinary events that lead Maya to a new form of determination and courage.
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review