Posts tagged Patrick Carman

Floors by Patrick Carman

Imagine if you could live in a hotel.  Not just any hotel, but one where each of the rooms had a different theme.  If you like cuddly toys, you could live in a room full of cuddly toys of every size, colour and type.  If you like Playstation, you could live in a virtual reality room where you could be a character in any game you chose.  In Patrick Carman’s new book, Floors, Leo lives in the weirdest, most wonderful hotel in the whole world, the Whippet Hotel.

Leo Fillmore and his father Clarence live and work at the Whippet Hotel as the caretakers, making sure everything is in working order.  The hotel’s eccentric owner, Merganzer D. Whippet disappeared one hundred days ago and hasn’t been seen or heard from ever since.  This leaves the mean hotel manager, Ms. Sparks in charge of the hotel, and when the hotel doesn’t work as it should, everybody hears about it.  Leo spends his days helping his father maintain the hotel and making sure Betty and the other ducks get walked.  One day, as Leo is returning the ducks to their pond on the roof, he discovers a mysterious box in the duck elevator.  This box is the first of four that will lead Leo to discover the secrets of the Whippet Hotel and the mystery of the missing Merganzer D. Whippet.

Floors is full of wonder, mystery and mahem, and made me smile the whole way through.  Patrick Carman has created this weird and wonderful hotel and filled it with one exciting room after another.  There’s a Pinball Room, which is set up like a pinball machine, with bowling balls as the pinball and couches for the flippers; the Cake Room filled with real cakes that are delivered by the chefs each morning; and the Central Park Room which contains a scale model of New York’s Central Park.  The characters are just as weird and wonderful as the hotel.  There’s Captain Rickenbacker who thinks that his arch-nemesis is out to get him, the obsessive writer, Theodore Bump, and the nasty hotel manager Ms. Sparks.  Floors is one of the most fun, imaginative stories you’ll read this year.  It’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snickett.

5 out of 5 stars.  Recommended for 9+  

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Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

If you could have only one super power, what would it be?

That’s the question that Jacob Fielding asks at the start of Thirteen Days to Midnight, the dark new book by Patrick Carman.  One Saturday morning in search of breakfast, Jacob and his foster-father, Mr Fielding are out driving when they crash into a tree.  The last words that Mr Fielding says to Jacob are ‘You are indestructible.’  Mr Fielding dies, leaving Jacob completely unhurt and trying to figure out why. As he experiments, Jacob discovers Mr Fielding has transferred an amazing power to him – he is now indestructible.  The priests that run his school take Jacob in and he eventually goes back to school, where his best friend Milo introduces him to the new girl, Ophelia James (or Oh for short).  Oh is a bit of a daredevil and so she’s come off her skateboard and broken her arm.  She wants Jacob to be the first to sign her cast, but when Jacob signs it with ‘You are indestructible,’ the trouble begins.  They realise that by uttering those three words, Jacob can transfer his power to another person.  They test the power out and use it to help save others.  But with every heroic act, the power grows stronger and soon feels more like a curse.

I got totally engrossed with this story and couldn’t put it down.  The story twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat.  It’s a story that really makes you think.  There are lots of unanswered questions about Mr Fielding’s past and the power that Jacob has inherited, and you keep trying to put the pieces of the story together to answer these questions. One of the things I really liked about the story was the dark, creepy atmosphere , which tells you that this isn’t your normal story about a boy getting super powers.  I also loved the way that Patrick Carman weaved history into the story, with the connection to a famous magician.  Thirteen Days to Midnight is a story full of suspense, action, mystery, and a curse passed down through time.   Recommended for 12+   10 out of 10

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