Zeb and the Great Ruckus

Zeb and the Great Ruckus

by Josh Donellan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780987232533
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Publication date: 08/31/2012
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range: 9 Years

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Zeb and the Great Ruckus 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Imagination plays an enormous role in this delightful book by Josh Donellan. Each page is filled with magic, mysterious creatures and adventure. The story takes place in Zeb’s village of Chromata in the land of Bravura. Bravura is ruled by a Czar who has outlawed music; but, no one knows why. The excitement starts on Zeb’s 12th birthday when his mother, Serina makes him a lettuce birthday cake (she’s not a good cook); shows him (and his best friend Flip) an Aleph; and, gives him a very mysterious gift. Zeb and Flip find themselves in the midst of an adventure that is destined to save the city of Chromata and the land of Bravura. They are aided in this brave undertaking by help from Serina, Mr. Hemingdrake and Smokey (a mysterious musician). The storyline is as old as time: power hungry rulers lording it over their subjects and the people of honor; integrity and compassion that pull together to restore freedom; and, dignity to society. But, Josh Donellan, himself a musician and actor, tells this age-old tale in such a fanciful and artistic way, that there is nothing old about it – it all comes to life in this spectacular story. What a ruckus he makes!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite Zeb and the Great Ruckus is an illustrated children’s book written by Josh Donellan. Twelve-year-old Zeb celebrates his birthday with a rather unique birthday cake before making his way to school. He returns home in the afternoon with his best friend, Flip, who is eager to see Zeb open his birthday gifts, including a special gift from his father, Kingston, who had died ten years earlier. Zeb, Flip, and his mother, Sarina, notice an odd-looking animal with giant ears and no mouth; when it is startled, it encapsulates itself with its ears, disguising itself as a rock. Flip sketches what they had seen and asks their teacher, Mr. Hemingdrake, about it, causing quite a stir as the animal is thought to have been extinct for over twenty years, all having been tortured to death by the ruthless and evil Czar. Mr. Hemingdrake gives Zeb a harmonica for his birthday, hoping to introduce some music into Zeb’s life, but it is quickly confiscated and smashed by the school bully for fun, along with Zeb’s gift from his father. On his arrival back at home, a broken-hearted Zeb is greeted by two Admonishers (the evil Czar’s men) who demand to speak with his mother about the animal they had seen. When Zeb refuses to let them into his home, they leave with him two objects, one of which is in the guise of a birthday present, as well as a warning which chills Zeb to the core. Zeb learns that his father had been a musician who had played music with Zeb’s mystery animal, the Aleph, and in return, it would sing a beautiful and healing melody. As it had been Zeb’s father’s last wish that someday his son would hear the Aleph sing, Zeb will stop at nothing to bring his father’s wish to fruition, especially as the Czar’s actions are what had led to Kingston’s demise. Zeb and the Great Ruckus is one of the most fun and cleverly-worded books I have ever read. The first chapter had me laughing out loud, wishing I could give a standing ovation. In a word: Hilarious! My favorite quote from the book describes the rain as sounding like a thousand pixies clog-dancing on the roof, bringing a stampede of memories rushing back to me from my childhood, when 'the big wet' would finally arrive after such a dry spell. It is quite difficult to pen a story of both darkness and delight, but Josh Donellan has managed to do just that, leaving me eager to turn each page to discover what happens next. The tragedy of seeing such a beautiful animal hunted and tortured into extinction sadly mirrors much of what happens in today’s world. Zeb’s determination to make his father’s dream come true was inspirational and a fight between good and evil takes hold, with Zeb facing almost impossible odds in coming out as the victor. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Zeb and the Great Ruckus and recommend it to all young readers who enjoy action, humor, drama and determination in this musical adventure.
book4children More than 1 year ago
Crazy. Nutty. Completely wacky. Fantastically unique! I absolutely loved this story. Books like this are the reason I read. While the plot is nothing spectacular (it is a basic quest plot), it is the way the book is written that makes it so appealing. It is a brilliant new take on an old story. The characters are vibrant and lively, each with a distinct personality that makes them loveable and memorable. To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this story would be an understatement. I was completely overjoyed when I realized that I was reading something entirely cooky and crazy. Zeb and the Great Ruckus was an addictive novel that felt like a cross between Dr. Seuss and Catherynne M. Valente. Josh Donellan has all of Valente's unique story telling ability while infusing it with Seuss's wackiness. From the way that Zeb's mother speaks only in rhyme, to Flip's distracted obsession with food, and the way Smokey thinks of his guitar as a daughter, this story was full of surprises and bits of fun craziness. I sincerely hope to see many more books from this author. The Cover: I can't really decide what to think about the cover. I love the artwork, and it goes very well with the story, but it doesn't stand out in any way. It was one of those books that I almost passed over (but I'm SO glad I didn't!).