Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.
Summary: Twelve-year-old Henrietta Sharp is smart, funny and likes to read the dictionary. But all she really wants is to be normal, a normal size that is, like her fashion-minded best friend Taffeta Bloom. That’s life before a magic lunch box (LB) mysteriously appears and tells Henri that she is a Traveler, someone who can summon portals and travel the universe.
Before you can say brand new super-power, Henri, her brainy boy-cousin P.J., Taffeta, and LB, are off on an adventure. They must find the medallion of power that will awaken the Guide who will train Henri in the ways of a Traveler. Unfortunately, this particular Guide is the most unlikely individual ever to assume responsibility for under age children and Henri’s training is strictly on the job.
They must leave immediately for the domain of Grymvald to rescue the imprisoned leader of the Fake Food Rebellion. A rogue Traveler, now a powerful Star Lord, has enslaved much of Grymvald with a deadly, addictive substance. Now, he gathers his forces in preparation for an attack on Earth.
The friends find Grymvald a different and disturbing and kind of place. It looks a lot like Earth, except that inanimate objects are, well, animated. Vegetables talk and think, dinnerware can be lethal, and saying no to seconds can get you put in prison.
Without the least idea how, Henri must learn to wield the medallion and defeat the Star Lord, while resisting the lure of its infinite power. With LB, Taffy and P.J. by her side, Henri discovers that friendship and loyalty have a power of their very own, and that the impossible business of saving the world cannot be separated from the complex business of finding herself.
Review: A fun and enjoyable childrens fantasy novel with good messages.
I am so very far past the intended age range (middle school children and perhaps high schoolers), but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it would go over even better with people closer to the age range intended since the issues discussed in this book as especially relevant to people of that age. This book has great messages, but what's even better is that the messages are not overwhelming. They are subtle yet powerful. Friendship, healthy eating, the difficulties of growing up, fighting for what is right, and seeing one's true worth.
Though Henrietta is the main character of this story, I have to say that Lunch Box or LB for short was very close to being my favorite character. He is snarky, funny, and kind. Plus I love the idea of strongly worded notes appearing out of thin air. Henrietta is a very likable and sympathetic character. She relies on her wits and intelligence, but is still willing to take advice when needed. She takes charge without even realizing she is doing it. Taffy and P.J. were great sidekicks and their interactions with Henrietta and other characters made me laugh. I like the setting that was created and I would gladly read another book set in the same universe.