I haven’t read a really good middle-grade in quite a while (aside that I’m currently re-reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at a snail like pace to go along with Pottermore). I don’t read middle-grade very often, but when I do I usually enjoy it (well, actually, specifically, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I enjoy any kind of book, as long is it’s good, to me. That’s the obvious requirement, and that’s all.) “City of Orphans” fulfilled the good book requirement as well as the ‘good middle-grade since I haven’t read one in a while’ requirement.
I really liked Maks, the main character. Throughout the novel, he deals with a whole lot of problems amicably but realistically. He experienced set backs and not everything went as planned, and that seems to happen too much especially in middle-grade. It wasn’t a complete fairy tale. Willa was pretty epic too, tough girl who’s also sensitive (which has been done a million times, but still). While I thought the characters were likable, I
didn’t necessarily think they had as much depth as I would have liked…
The overall plot was good, well paced, a mystery that kept you reading to find out who the crook was, and when I did find out I was pretty sad for -insert character here-. I also liked that between the writing and the few illustrations scattered through out I felt the book come to life– which is really important for the middle grade genre, I think (but any genre for the most part!)! The voice is quite important too and I thought that was also great. The bottom line: A great historical, stand-alone, middle-grade novel!
Thank you Simon&Schuster for the opportunity to review this book, readers, as usual it in no way affected my opinion!