Stanley Brambles and the Lost City
by Owen Spendlove

"Stanley backed away, then turned and ran when a third blow caused the door to buckle outward. He tore down the hallway and left the reliquary, closing the first door behind him, as well."

Stanley, like countless other grade eight students, has problems. His teacher hates him, the biggest kid in class wants to crush him, and his feelings for a certain cute girl are constantly fluctuating between friendship and something much stronger. But unlike other eighth graders, Stanley and his friends share a secret history of time spent on another world. Still, those days are in the past, or are they? In this entertaining and fast-paced sequel, Spendlove once again draws Stanley, Alabaster, and Nell out of the rather mundane life of East Stodgerton and Babblebrook Public School and into constant adventure and danger on Terra. This time, however, instead of being on the high seas the trio find themselves in a dense jungle. With lizard men wanting to either eat or sacrifice them, monstrous earwigs who can bite or burn them, and a nasty-tempered river monster determined to snack on them, Stanley and his friends will need to be on the alert and prepared for any threat. But when an enemy from the past manages to infiltrate their small group of travelers will they recognize their peril in time?

Spendlove's engaging writing style, deft characterizations, and ability to keep the plot humming along at a speedy clip is reminiscent of the writing of John A. Flanagan and Rick Riordan. His depiction of the angst and drama of youth is spot on, and the introduction of "super powers" and hints of a mysterious genetic marker in Stanley merely make the promise of another book that much more appealing. Stanley's teacher may hate his writing, but his creator's work deserves an A+.

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