There's been a renewed interest in spirit animals recently. Scholastic has their Spirit Animals series with the online game component and several different authors (similar to the way 39 Clues and Infinity Ring are organized). And now there is the first in a series featuring the character of Brody Boondoggle, along with his Grammy and big brother Jake. Brody and Jake are spending time with their grandmother and during a walk in the woods, Grammy and Brody find an akaway. What's an akaway? "Oh, about 50 pounds," said Grammy. "Maybe a little more after a big meal." (There are silly moments like that all through the book, many of them based on Grammy mishearing something the boys have said.) Actually, an akaway is a magical creature with the ability to connect kids to their spirit animals. Brody can see it, but Jake can't - which makes it hard to convince his brother that they need to help the creature. What follows is a quest to find a portal to another dimension, with the necessary villains to try and stop our heroes.
There is action, humor, typical brotherly teasing and arguing, a really cool grandmother (even if she can't hear very well), a jealous friend, bad guys to dislike, and magical possibilities. I think one of my favorite things about the book is the explanation that children don't connect with their spirit animals any more because they are so busy with video games and electronic devices. It makes sense that if you are not connected to nature and really aware of it, then you can't connect to your spirit animal. If you enjoy adventures and stories of kids trying to save the world or endangered species, then you'll have fun with Brody.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published on February 25, 2014.