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The Sword and the Flute Review by Lyria Moore

By Mike Hamel
AMG Publishers
6815 Shallowford Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37421

The Sword and the Flute was a wonderfully refreshing tale about a twelve-year-old boy who goes on an amazing adventure . . . in his school library? Was it a real adventure, or did he just imagine it? You can figure that out for yourself by reading this thoroughly enjoyable book.

Mike Hamel takes us on a wild ride, but first he explains a bit about why this book is about a twelve-year-old hero. Wouldn't it be better to have an adult go through all the dangerous escapades? One might think so, but author Mike Hamel explains everything very nicely in his introduction.

As you start reading the first chapter, the story starts to unfold. We catch our first glimpse of our young hero, Matt, in action with his friend, the Baron. Chapter two then goes back to how it all started so we have a point of reference. We find out our hero was sucked into a book that he found on a shelf in his school library. The book has no words in it, and it is called The Sword and the Flute. As the story continues to unfold, we travel with Matt (now known as Matterhorn) back to medieval Ireland to help a queen regain a stolen artifact from a cunning villain and a cutthroat pirate!

All throughout this story are many exciting and mysterious twists and turns. Mike Hamel is a wonderful storyteller, but the one thing that sets him apart from other authors is his use of personification. The first couple of times you encounter the phrases it takes you by surprise. Then the word pictures become more frequent and lull you into a calm, serene state, which is a welcome contrast to the oft-times harsh clashes Matterhorn finds himself engaged in.

This is a fabulous pick among fiction for young readers. This is only the first in a six-part series, so the enjoyment of this author's writing style can continue. The chapters are kept short for prolonged interest and lessened frustration. The content would best suit an eight- to ten-year-old. In our homeschool, we plan to use this title as a read-aloud as well as an independent reader. This book does not disappoint as a quality piece of literature for young minds. You will be able to put your mind at ease knowing that your children are reading an excellent book that is educational as well as entertaining and clean!

Product review by Lyria Moore, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010