The Lost Tribes

The Lost Tribes

Book - 2015
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"Five friends could never imagine their ordinary parents are scientists on a secret mission. When their parents go missing, they are forced into unfathomable circumstances and learn of a history that's best left unknown. Now they must race against time in search for artifacts that are thousands of years old ... artifacts that hold the fate of the universe in balance."--Jacket.
Publisher: Beacon Falls, CT. : Move Books, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780985481087
Branch Call Number: Fiction Taylor TEEN
Characteristics: 360 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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JohnH_KCMO Dec 30, 2017

Empathy and Growth

This is the type of book I loved reading when I was growing up. (To be frank, it is the type of book I still love reading.)

We have five young characters, four of whom are moving into adolescence, dealing with the struggles of individuation we all have to deal with at that time of our lives. One thing I particularly liked about this book is the author's subtle route in introducing us to these characters and their parents and other family members. We get to know these five—Ben, his little sister April, and their friends (sometimes not so friends) Grace, Carlos, and Serise—all of whom live in the same small section of a neighborhood. The author, without beating us on the head with it, establishes that these five come out of four different ethnic groups—none of which is the typical WASP—and allows the reader to start to piece this fact together. The author doesn't make a big deal out of it, just lays it out there for us to bit by bit realize it.

The principal character, through whose third person eyes we see most of the action, is Ben. At some points, as Ben jumped to certain conclusions that he thinks are explanations for the actions of other characters--usually the adults--I thought to myself, "Come on, Ben,you're not thinking it through." but then I thought back on my own life (at least four times the span of Ben's), and remembered some of the conclusions *I* jumped to when I was his age, and I thought, "Well, the author nailed that one."

I was particularly moved by last several chapters, the growth and challenges the five go through, and the importance, at times, of being willing to disobey.

I have loved science fiction since I was a kid. I read Robert Heinlein's juvenile focused novels (several given to me when I had my appendix out), the Tom Hardy Jr. books of the 1960s, the new age revolution of authors like Harlan Ellison, the classics of Madeleine L'Engle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and many, many others.

This is a wonderful addition to the genre, gracing us with young characters who are learning how to think, how to empathize, and how to work together.

I look forward to the next book in the series, to learn explanations to the questions left hanging (why are the rules Ben's uncle uses for H.O.R.S.E. so different from the rules I grew up playing by?), and what will the five main characters learn about the secrets of their origin?

A great start to the series.

John Horner
Missouri Valley Room

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KellyReader
Jul 07, 2015

I did not mean to comment here. Sorry!

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foxylady31
Jul 07, 2015

A great sci-fi adventure.. Has mystery ,intrigue and a group of friends with real imagination and the courage to try seeming impossible things to get answers.. I am looking forward to te next book

JCLChrisK Apr 09, 2015

Combining world travel, video games, puzzles, archaeology, advanced technology, mysterious parents, growing danger, and a group of ambitious teenagers, this is quite the adventure.

Ben's never impressed Uncle Henry, who rides him like a drill sergeant, scoffs at his ambitions of becoming a basketball star, saying if Ben really wants to do something worthwhile with his time he should solve the video game Henry gives him. If Ben can do so in a week, Henry says, he'll get to join his uncle and parents on one of their expeditions as reward. Ben's parents are irate--about both the game and the promise--but Henry says it's time Ben learned something about the family business.

The game is called The Lost Tribes of Xenobia, and very quickly Ben, his little sister, and their three teenaged neighbors are all working on figuring it out. It takes them to remote, ancient sites around the world in search of lost treasures. At first it takes them on the screen, then they discover that the game can project incredibly realistic, immersive holographic images that leave them feeling that they have actually traveled. Then they begin to suspect that it might be doing more than projecting imaginary images, right about the time that all of their parents start acting alarmingly strange. Then everything changes, and nothing will ever be a game again.

While a fully satisfying story, this is just the beginning of the adventures for Ben, his friends, and his family. All are interesting, engaging, believable characters, and I'm excited to see what comes next for them as the series develops.

JCLCharlouL Apr 07, 2015

I'm always happy when there is a new sic fi book for middle grade, especially these days when it's non-dystopian sci fi. And this one adds ancient mysteries from around the world. Nice. You could also say this is a diversity book and at the same time, those who want to promote it as such might be disappointed because it's not easily so identified. The young teens in this book are just like the readers friends and classmates, not stereotypes. Related though, one of my favorite parts comes closer to the end with a nicely done Star Trek reference. While I may have been overwhelmed with information at some points, the tone, reading level and adventure are perfect for the middle grade audience.

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BarbLB
Apr 03, 2015

I just received the advanced reading copy of this book and it is a great adventure story for middle grade readers! Children of scientists enter a virtual reality video game to uncover clues of ancient civilizations.

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