James Clyde and
the Diamonds of Orchestra
by Colm McElwain
The story itself is a Fantasy Adventure definitely written for Middle Grade readers.Like many books of this genre it’s good vs evil. The friendship of the three young kids is refreshing.How they stick together through their quest.Although the quest is really only the responsibility of James, his two close friends the Brother sister team of Ben and Mary are along for the ride in support.You can tell there is a special friendship between the three right away.The story starts with James alluding a store security guard for shoplifting three hats and scarves for himself and his two friends.He ends up at a psychic’s house and high adventure begins.
As a kid (even now) I’ve always loved this type of story.The young unassuming reluctant anti- hero and how they grow into their own. How the impossible quest is achieved. How they adjust to a far away land. How they meet new and wondrous creatures. New friends and enemies.
A quick read even at 240 pages. The mystery revolving around Grandfather gets the reader and the kids wondering.For Young readers I like how the author Colm McElain made the chapters just a few pages long.I think that actually helps as kids read their books and feel like they’re accomplishing something as far as completing the book.
This is a fun adventurous and Magical story perfectly geared to the middle grader that may be a fan of Harry Potter or maybe even The Hobbit but this certainly is not as advanced as Tolkien.
I do have one small problem with the author. This may have been corrected but in my issue on page 22 he refers to Porky Pig (yes that Porky Pig) as a Disney Character…What! C’mon Dude what kind of Saturday morning cartoons did you watch as a kid? I think his buddy Bugs is insulted.How does Porky enter into the story? Well he doesn’t really but there it is…
As an infant, James Clyde was deposited at a children’s home by his wounded, blood-soaked grandfather. As a result, he grows up under a cloud of mystery. Eleven years later when he hears about his strange past, he vows to uncover the truth. But before he can, his grandfather hands him a magical and mysterious diamond of Orchestra. With the aid of his friends, Ben and Mary Forester, James must protect the diamond from evil forces.
Soon, however, their lives are in grave danger. They are being hunted by a sinister man dressed in black and his blood-thirsty army. Outnumbered, James finds he must use the power of the diamond to escape their clutches – or become another victim of their murderous quest.
So begins a journey that will transport them to an alternative world where they must confront the mysterious man in black for a final, winner-takes-all battle…