Publisher's Note:  

A remarkable adventure by award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby brings a fantastical American West filled with secrets and spies and terrifying creatures to vivid life.

In this extraordinary adventure story, Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc, seeking aid in the coming war against the French. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.
THE LOST KINGDOM is an epic journey filled with marvelous exploits, courage and intrigue, and a bold reimagining of a mythical America. Matthew J. Kirby brings his signature storytelling prowess and superb craft to this astonishing story of fathers and sons, the beginnings of a nation, and wonder-filled adventure.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic Press (A Scholastic Imprint)

The Lost Kingdom

by Matthew J. Kirby

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Overall Review:  

In The Lost Kingdom, Matthew J. Kirby sets up a fantastic adventure that combines elements of history, fantasy, and alternative realities.  In doing so, he sets the stage for a tale that can explore thought-provoking societal and familial issues while still moving through a fast-paced and dangerous quest that keeps the reader turning page after page.  Set in the time just before the French and Indian War in North America, Kirby brings well-known (and some not well-known) characters from history and integrates them into a world of flying ships, bear-wolves and mastodons, and secret kingdoms in the wilderness.  Along the way he explores issues of racial prejudice, coming of age, the father-son relationship, and self-discovery.  The beginning feels a little rough as all the elements come together and the reader tries to understand a world both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time; but the story finds its groove as it moves along, and just keeps picking up momentum until the very end.  Strange as the setting may be, Kirby pulls off a tale that simultaneously gives  a grand sense of possibilities and impossibilities that exposes the reader to the magic of the question: "What if....?"

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Robbery, gun aimed but not shot; gunfire, property damage; wild animal attack; ship crashes, various injuries; two characters fight, break property; animal hunt/kill/skinning described without much detail; characters captured and threatened; wild animal attack and a character receives fatal injuries; characters argue, slap and punch each other; battle violence with little description; implied violence from a character's captivity; wild animal attack and a character is mauled and killed.


Sex/Nudity:  Husband and wife embrace and kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Racial Prejudice, Slavery, War, Death

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults drink beer and wine.


Reviewed By Kristen
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