Rating: 4.5 of 5
Author: Leslie A Susskind
Being the sons and daughters of the King of Zephram would seem to have its privileges – that is unless your different. Life for Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell – the young princes and princesses of the kingdom – was a daily challenge because of their difference. You see they are the only citizens in the thousand year history of their kingdom to not have any magical ability at all – nothing – they couldn’t even learn to levitate a piece of paper! Their friends made fun of them and their father would not accept their affliction forcing multiple magical tutors on them in an attempt to train them out of their condition. But what no one realized is that because they could not do magic, they had to learn other ways to manage life – learning to cook and be independent was something they had to do to survive without special gifts. And while it set them apart from the rest of their people, it also might be the one thing that saves them all!
Leslie Susskind’s debut novel The Month of Zephram Mondays is an entertaining book which teaches kids tolerance, acceptance, and that one need not be special or a superhero to in fact be a hero. These lessons are taught in a kid friendly fashion and in subtle ways through the fun and exciting adventures and experiences that the foursome encounter. What I really enjoyed about the book is how the children came to understand for themselves that saving their family and kingdom was something they could do all on their own. They didn’t need an army of helpless and hapless soldiers, they had the skills and the smarts all their own to save the day.
It is rare these days to read an engaging and enduring story for young people that involves the everyday hero and can make kids both escape into a fantasy world yet be able to relate with characters that are very much like themselves – not wizards, vampires, shape shifters, spies, spider people, Olympians, or super geniuses. Just good everyday kids doing what is right. This book is a great addition to the juvenile reader’s (9-12 year olds) library. They will enjoy the fun story, and look forward to the future adventures of these very non-magical but special none-the-less royal quadruplets.