DISCLAIMER. I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Archer and Zowie, by Hans Bluedorn tells the story of two intrepid explorers. Two friends, who are quite different from each other, go on an amazing, imaginative journey into space. Told in dialogue form you get to “go along for the ride” seeing the world through their eyes. How much more fun could middle school readers ask for? What will they learn of friendship and self-esteem as they follow along with Archer and Zowie?
The Basic details of Archer and Zowie
Archer and Zowie is written by Hans Bluedorn and is all about friendship and self-esteem. You can hear parts of it being read on the Archer and Zowie page. These two children are the best of friends, even if they are quite different from each other. Throughout Archer and Zowie you can observe them using their skills as they imagine a variety of scenarios and extricate themselves from trouble. They are carefree and very imaginative, and the story is told in their voice…. as if they are talking with the reader. Written for youth 7-12 years old, and covering 234 pages, most middle school students will have no trouble finishing this book. Hans Bluedorn has published and illustrated this book himself! (and he won’t refund your money if you don’t like the illustrations).
Archer and Zowie comes in three formats: Kindle, audio and paperback. I received a paperback copy and found it well made with a glossy cover. It feels like a book that will last the most voracious reader.
What do you get?
Mr. Bluedorn’s illustrations fit the theme and characters of Archer and Zowie fantastically.
You’ll find 18 short and sweet chapters. Some chapter headings are illustrated, most are not.
The dialogue would be about what you expect from 10 year olds. Funny, quirky, occasionally with some potty talk, and the odd insightful comment. But that’s children right? They talk about anything and everything that pops into their heads. This makes the story real don’t you think?
It’s not all dialogue though. It would be difficult I think to write a story that was completely dialogue, you need to have context and description to round out a book well.
Character development…watching characters grow and develop new thinking patterns, or discover new things about themselves, is fantastic! Seeing the changes in Archer and Zowie between the first few chapters and the last is part of the fun of reading this story. Even through imaginative play, children can learn and grow and become something more. Simply wonderful that.
Conflict happened. Children get offended with each other. Danger threatens. But they get through it.
Should you get Archer and Zowie?
Honestly, I initially struggled with reading Archer and Zowie. The style of writing didn’t suit me. So I did what I often do with books that aren’t working for me, read the ending first. That got me intrigued! Reading through the entire book probably took me an hour once I had the motivation to do so. 🙂 I had to see how they got from point a to b!
I did hand it over to my lad to get his opinion as he’s 40 years younger than I am. 🙂 So… he’s closer to the target audience. 🙂 So far he says that he likes it. I will update when he is done. 🙂
Is it my style no? Do I want to read it again? No. But that doesn’t matter… what matters is this: is it suited for the audience it is intended? Does it have a good story to tell? Is there meaning to be found? Do the characters learn anything about themselves or others and become more than they were at the beginning of the book? If there’s conflict, do they find a way to resolve it? Can they figure out solutions to difficulties they find themselves in?
The answer to all these question is YES! Resoundingly so.
So, if your children like quirky, fun reads. If they enjoy being immersed into the lives of other children’s imaginations, Archer and Zowie will be a fun read for them.
Social Media Links
For the Fallacy Detective (also a Hans Bluedorn book)
For Hans Bluedorn