Feb 172015
 February 17, 2015  Book Reviews

Middle Grade Science Fiction: Integrating Math and Spirituality | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Marie’s Atlas; however, all opinions are my own.

What kid wouldn’t want to be Marie?  She travels the world with her loving parents, sharpening her wits by helping them solve puzzles they find among the bones and potsherds.

But one day, Marie is given a puzzle like no other, one that will transport her to another, fantastical world where she must use not only her mathematical knowledge but also her spiritual strength to save this distant planet.  It is a journey that will test not only everything she has learned in her classes but also her inner qualities, such as steadfastness and courage.  Can she withstand the enormous pressures that weigh on her young shoulders and avert the impending disaster?

Are you hooked yet??  Marie’s Atlas is an adventure story unlike any I have read.  Whereas we are typically we are taught to compartmentalize and keep our analytical minds and our spirits separate, author Sophia Wood effortless weaves together spiritual and mathematical puzzles, as Marie faces a series of challenges in her quest.

If you and your child enjoy solving puzzles together, this middle grade (that is, for 9-12 year olds) science fiction book is a wonderful way to use to test your skills.  It also provides fertile material for discussion, as Marie makes increasingly difficult choices.  Her quest is a brilliant metaphor for the challenges we all face in life and give a great way for kids (and adults!) to think about real world situations.

I also love that, unlike most books for older kids, there are no bad guys and no romance.  In her adventure, the only challenger Marie must overcome is herself, and she must prove herself not by looks or popularity, but by mental and spiritual strength.

For more information about Marie’s Atlas, visit the website.  If you act quickly, you can enter to win a signed print of one of Marie’s wonderful notes from the story!  And of course, don’t miss author Sophia Wood’s listing in my Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide!

Marie's Atlas

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