George Hagen’s Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle (Random House Children’s Books, 2014) is a MUST HAVE for public libraries. Some reviewers compare it to the Harry Potter books, and It IS one of those rare books kids and teens will enjoy reading on their own and adults will enjoy reading to their younger children or for themselves – it’s that well written.
But this fantasy for young readers isn’t another story about magicians. It’s a quest, with an 11-year-old hero, Gabriel, the clever raven Palladin, and Gabriel’s friends Abby, Somes, and Pamela using their wits and risking their lives to rescue Gabriel’s father and perhaps the entire world from the power-mad villain, Corax. I’m buying it for our library because I know our young patrons and their parents will love the kids, the story, and the way Hagen weaves in themes about courage, hope, greed, generosity, and friendship in this delightful adventure.