The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell

Image result for the king's fifthWhat would you do if you heard of a golden city? Attempt to find it? Destroy it? Ransack it? This is the question posed by Scott O’Dell in his book The King’s Fifth. In the book, we follow the adventures of Esteban de Sandoval, a young mapmaker who is part of an expedition to the new world.

While the party explores the new world, they encounter Indians, who are usually welcoming, but sometimes hostile. However, in almost every case, the party tricks or fights the Native Americans. They do this because they have heard of vast supplies of gold. The Indians think little of the gold, taking what they need but not much more, and wonder why the Spaniards are so devoted to the material. Later, they acquire a huge amount of gold, only to have most of the members of the expedition perish or depart. Sandoval, after commandeering the remainder of the group, ends up in prison for failing to give the King his share of the treasure.

Even though the adventures of the explorers are fictional, many of the themes are all too real. Spanish expeditions did, quite often, swindle and cheat Indians out of valuables, even resorting to violence if trickery was unsuccessful. They also traveled with no respect to the land, destroying forests and slaughtering wildlife. Another aspect that truly happened was the Spanish gold rush. Many crews and expeditions deviated from their purposes to search for cities of gold. Wild tales were told of people who ate from golden platters and wore gold clothing. In the end, Scott O’Dell’s book wonderfully gives a look into the exploration of early North America.

-Joshua M.

The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

CT-7567

This is the story of CT-7567, also known as Captain Rex who was introduced to the Star Wars universe in the animated series, The Clone Wars. Monthly installments will be released. Hope you enjoy.                                                                                                   _____________________________________________________________________

CT-7567 was having a great dream before the datapad next to his bed woke him up. It flashed red and blared,

“CT-7567, prepare yourself for morning Physical Training.”

The young cadet rubbed his eyes, jumped out of bed, and shook his bunkmate awake.

“Come on, 2224! We’ve gotta go!”

CT-2224 slowly and methodically rolled off his bunk and dressed himself. Once 2224 was ready, the two clone youths jogged over to the training area. Their instructor, Bani, waited for them. The Duros was irritated.

“You’re late again! How many times do I have to tell you?”

He made the two clones run laps until they were sweaty and miserable. Cody, or CT-2224, grumbled under his breath as they stepped into the sonic refreshers. Rex, who was designated CT-7567, was equally displeased. He knew they had gotten there on time. The eternally irate Duros always found something wrong.

Their next assignment was their favorite: Battle training! As they hefted their mock blasters and blew holographic droids into oblivion, they joked and laughed. Battle training never failed to cheer them up. Rex especially loved using special tactics to destroy the fake droids, who always used the exact same formation and strategy. He had just attacked a huge wave when something hit him in the shoulder. He stumbled forward and whipped around. It was CT-6453. What a jerk. Rex always saw him around, bullying cadets and bothering teachers.

“Eat bantha dung, 43.”

Rex waved him off. Little did he know how important 6453 would turn out to be.

The last assignment of the day was worse than PT: Galactic history. Their teacher was a hardworking taskmaster. The Kaminoan, Lima Bri, gave them tons of work and papers, and she never graded easily. Rex was feeling good about a report he had written about the moons of Io, but when he got it back Bri had given him only 75%. Cody was disappointed as well. His paper had received a 73%. They left class and headed back to the barracks to grab some sleep.

-Joshua M.

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross

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The Fog Diver, written by Joel Ross, is a great book full of suspense and twists. It has a wonderful plot and intriguing characters.

What if the whole earth was engulfed in deadly fog? What if a great treasure was said to be hidden beneath the clouds? And what if you were the only one who could survive in that fog?  The main character, Chess, finds himself in such a dilemma. An orphan with special power, he is part of a ragtag scrapper crew. They hunt for items from old Earth to sell on the mountaintops while avoiding sky pirates and monsters.

Meanwhile, a tyrant named Kodoc hunts for Chess so he can use him to find the Compass, an ancient artifact said to  control the Fog. The team thinks that Port Oro, a legendary mountaintop, will be a safe haven for them, and attempt a journey. Along the way, they team up with pirates and gang kids. This book is full of friendship and action. I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a summer read.

-Joshua M, 6th grade

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

The Captain’s Dog by Roland Smith

Image result for the captain's dog cover imageIf you’re looking for a heartfelt tail of bravery and affection, The Captain’s Dog is the book for you. The many chapters are told from the perspective of Captain Meriwether Lewis’ dog, Seaman. Because of this, you’ll hear about antics that will make you smile, adventures that will leave you on the edge of your seat, and tales that will bring you back in time.

The plot almost exactly follows the events of the expedition, giving you historical content as well. The author describes events and adventures in depth, making you feel like you’re there with the expedition crew. From deserting members to a deadly mountain crossing, no detail is left out.

As you read through the book, you learn of Seaman’s abused puppyhood and the savior he found in Captain Lewis. Seaman proves to be a valuable asset to the team, warning of bears and cheering up saddened trekkers.

All in all, I loved the whole book, down to the last word of the epilogue. I hope I’ve interested you in this work of art. Even cat people will fall in love with the charming and lovable Seaman. I hope you will find time to read this great book.

-Joshua M. 6th Grade

The Captain’s Dog by Roland Smith is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.