10 June, 2012

The Outcasts

Title: The Outcasts
Author: John Flanagan
Series: Brotherband
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Children
Format: Book - library

From Goodreads: In Skandia, there is only one way to become a warrior. Boys are chosen for teams called brotherbands and must endure three months of gruelling training in seamanship, weapons and battle tactics. It's brotherband against brotherband, fighting it out in a series of challenges. There can be only one winner.
When Hal Mikkelson finds himself the unwilling leader of a brotherband made up of outcasts, he must step up to the challenge. The Heron brotherband might not have the strength and numbers of the other two teams, but with inventiveness, ingenuity and courage on their side, they might just surprise everyone.

What I thought: This is the fourth book from the The Children's Book Council of Australia Younger Reader's Short list. And like Crow Country,  it's on the teenage shelves at work. Also like Crow Country, I feel it's just as at home as a children's (albeit older children) or young adult book. Again, as a teacher librarian in an primary school, I would have bought it for the upper classes, especially boys.
John Flanagan is the well known author of The Ranger's Apprentice series of which I have raved about at various times, including here, here and here.
Brotherband is his new series, set in Skandia, a country introduced to readers during The Ranger's Apprentice series. And once again, I will rave!
Flanagan writes such good quality young adult/children's fantasy fiction. His characters are strong, believable, flawed and find themselves in situations where they need to use their skills to survive. The world they live in is not easy and they are given responsibility at a young age - and expected to shoulder it. (This is something I don't think we do enough for our children these days) The story is exciting and fast paced, encouraging the reader to turn that next page...just one more chapter...
I have just bought my ten year old the first in the Ranger's Apprentice series and he has taken to it with gusto. You simply cannot beat well written, intelligent books. Well done John Flanagan for producing yet another excellent book! Can't wait to read the second in the series!

Challenges: Library Challenge