I received no monetary or in-kind compensation for my honest review. Jul 17, Renee rated it it was amazing Shelves: kids-books , featured-books , kid-lit-blog-tours. She is a healer. Even though she has a limp, she is very brave and smart. I really liked her. I think the cover is really good and I really liked the creepy elf in the green cloak. I really liked how the book had two stories in one book. So when you think the one story is over, there is another part of the story.
I liked how it was science fiction and had lots of technology. That made it interesting. I loved, loved, loved the book. I liked it better than the first one. It took about 2 weeks to read it, reading a bit every day. I think kids 8 years and older would like it.
They need to be older because some of the story and the technology described are complicated. This time around Grasso weaves a similarly complex and engaging plot, merging science fiction and fantasy, and featuring an immensely endearing main character in Caramel, the elf princess who, despite a physical disability, proves to be brave, intelligent, and loyal as well as gifted as a healer.
All the things I loved about Book 1, Escape From the Forbidden Planet continue to be the strengths of the second book. Grasso has created an imaginative and interesting world in Cardamom and I love the way she describes the relationship between the elves and the cardamom plants. There is a recognition of the nearly symbiotic nature of the relationship between the two. While the elves tenderly care for the plants, the cardamom stems then lovingly impart their pods to the elves who rely on the seeds as their primary source of energy.
This concept is so beautiful to me and carries an important message to the future caretakers of our planet. I feel that Return to Cardamom is slightly more refined and sophisticated with regards to the descriptions of the technology and the role of technology in the story. In particular, I really enjoyed the part of the story where the computer virus injected by Alexander on the Forbidden Planet threatens not only all the computer systems on the planet, but begins to infect the humans there as well. This part of the story features a laugh-out-loud literally!
Return to Cardamom is a middle grade book that I find completely appropriate for middle grade children i. I think that Grasso has hit the right level of tension for this age group by avoiding darker and more mature themes but still challenging budding social consciences with its foray into the fields of conservationism, technology, and bioethics. And then there is Caramel … I just love Caramel! As far as role models in middle grade books, she is TOPS!
Despite a physical limitation from an accident in early childhood, she is a brave, fiercely loyal, highly intelligent, and compassionate young lady.
There is just something about the way she is written that feels completely genuine and relatable. More Caramel … oh, and more cake. Sorry, I got distracted there for a moment! Good question. The author does provide some of the backstory from Book 1, but the second book moves along quite quickly. My bottom line: Return to Cardamom features an endearing and memorable main character in Caramel; a sophisticated and engaging plot which includes unexpected twists and turns; and many important messages about loyalty, forgiveness, and perseverence as well as much food for thought or was that thoughts about food?
More please! This book was reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite. Cardamom is a planet populated by elves.
The elves have a multiplicity of powers and abilities, but not all elves have the same abilities. Caramel herself is in training to become a healer, but unbeknownst to herself or others, she already possesses healing abilities far in excess of what even her mother has. The economy of Cardamom is tied exclusively to the export of cardamom pods, which are the seed pods of a very sensitive intelligent plant. The pods are the source of energy used predominantly on thousands of civilized planets in the galaxy.
But all is not lost! Caramel and friends come to the rescue, and save the galaxy from the evil clone Alexander There is plenty of action in this book; enough for three or four books, in fact. But this is really not entirely a standalone story.
There are numerous references which would make better sense if the first book were read first. The writing is outstanding. Her description of foods and drink will make your mouth water! She has also created her young heroine to be an extremely strong character, but one with some physical defects. Caramel is the heroine, but she is also just one of the gang. This story was a pleasure to read. I recommend it to all older children who are able to read chapter books, up to adults who enjoy reading an occasional pre-teen book.
I am confident it will be every bit as enjoyable as this one. May 11, S. Julie Grasso has delivered a sound follow-up to her first book. The Intergalactic Council is being courted by a dastardly scoundrel, who claims to have the key to their power needs. Caramel suspects that her old foes Alexander and her Aunt Isabel are behind it, but not everyone is convinced of her theory. She needs to take control of the situation and find the proof. As the story unfolds, Caramel holds onto her beliefs, follows her intuition and proves her resilience.
Teaching young readers that they should never give up on things that they believe in. The plot has some exciting twists and turns that entertain and keep the reader engaged. I look forward to the next adventure. My bottom line: Julie Grasso has delivered a sound follow-up to her first book. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell.
I try to focus on the story which is the reason I read rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure. An exciting sequel to Escape, with a fast-moving plot once again set on the magical elf planet. The eight-year-old I read it with was gripped from the start, feeling involved with the plot and loving the setting.
Lots of twists and turns, and more of the pre-teenage angst and rebellion we saw in the first book, dealt with sympathetically. We particularly enjoyed a fight with a computer virus - very imaginative! Great sequel to the first book. The adventures of Carmel and her elfin friends continue when the Cardamon trees become endangered and they help to save them.
I highly recommend "Return to Cardamon" for everyone from age 10 and up. Once you begin reading, you can't put the book down! Jul 27, Melanie rated it it was amazing.
For me, the series started out slow but started to pick up at the end of book 1. Book 2 started right where book 1 left off and didn't stop! The plot moved along well and some of the characters we met in book 1 came back. I was glad to see that her friends from The Forbidden Planet still have a role to play. This is such a fun read for middle graders. I enjoyed the foreshadowing that was given and the teasers at t 4.
I enjoyed the foreshadowing that was given and the teasers at the end of the chapters that will instantly make any child not paying full attention become instantly alert and ask for more or continue reading!
Caramel is a strong character with a lot of good qualities and she continues to learn more about who she really is. She seems to be exceptionally good at whatever she tries which doesn't seem too realistic to me but I let that go and just enjoyed reading about all she could do. What I love about her is that when she gets stuck, she keeps going and the answers she needs come to her so she continues to move forward. It's too easy to second guess every decision when you feel stuck and try to think things through instead of acting on inspiration and moving forward.
Caramel has both her parents and grandparents around to guide her. Her Aunt Isabel has betrayed her family and continues to work against them and Caramel is so angry with her and she's discussing it with her grandfather and asks him if he's angry, too.
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He uses this opportunity to teach her about forgiveness and the choice we each have to allow anger to rule us or not. There are other good teaching opportunities as well which I think would also make good discussions with my own children. Caramel also has some good friendships and it's fun to see how those grow. I would recommend reading Escape from the Forbidden Planet first. We meet Micah, Sass and Kirra in that book. They are also in Return to Cardamom and the story will make more sense to read from the beginning. This is a series I would recommend for middle graders and look forward to reading book 3!
Mel's Shelves Jul 18, Brittany Cuenin rated it really liked it Shelves: recommended-students. Clones, mind-reading, an Intergalactic Council, family and a chubby cheeked elf heroine are all a part of the action and excitement of Return to Cardamom. The sequel to the Escape from the Forbidden Planet opens with a prologue that hooks the reader very quickly with dialogue and the fast moving action of Isabel and Alexander going back to the island of Cardamom; it got me hooked right away!
Caramel Clones, mind-reading, an Intergalactic Council, family and a chubby cheeked elf heroine are all a part of the action and excitement of Return to Cardamom. Caramel and her family, including her Grandfather Garlin, learn of horrible news; the cardamom stems have been sabotaged. Caramel immediately suspects Alexander and Isabel and goes to her great friend, Jorde for help in figuring out the saboteurs.