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C.M. Skyward
C.M. Skyward, author
Escape to Giantopia—an incredible, wondrous world filled with fantastical adventures. Ride upon Fireflyers made of living luminescent color, fly with majestic snow-white butterflies, jump from spectacularly tall waterfalls into crystalline waters, and befriend the wise and kind animals of Giantopia. Journey with Jaeya, Calen, and Cyla as they escape from the Giants, adventure through this magical land, and face the ultimate decision: to return to their world, or join the animals to battle the Giants and restore Giantopia to the place of wonder, peace, and freedom that it was originally meant to be.
Skyward dazzles with a glittering magical world in this middle grade debut, where giants, talking animals, and profound moral choices ignite. When Jaeya and her cousins, Calen and Cyla, notice a house in the neighborhood that they can’t remember seeing before, they decide to investigate—and find themselves carried away by a stupid, conceited giant named Diffendumpf. Excited about his new “pets,” Diffendumpf carries the children to Giantopia, a land that was once peaceful and free, but has been taken over by bumbling giants who capture and mistreat its special talking animals.

Giantopia’s giants may be cruel and foolish, but the realm itself is stunningly beautiful, with vibrant colors, jumbo-sized flora and fauna, and magical waters. Skyward’s attention to the physical characteristics of the story’s setting occasionally slows down its action, but the lush descriptions of Giantopia’s many wonders—edible golden sunlight, tree-sized flowers, snowy white butterflies that you can ride, and musical, multicolored stars—will transport readers into a world of enchantment. The animals of Giantopia, despite their dire circumstances, add to its charms, with pink kangaroos, a giant beagle named Montesquieu, rainbow-striped zebras, and a host of others who treat the children with warmth, compassion, and a sprinkling of light-hearted humor.

The animals also assist Jaeya and team with the spiritual challenges they encounter during their ordeal. As they face the evil giants and the threat they represent, the trio must also face their individual fears, sorrows, and uncertainties. Along the way, Montesquieu teaches them a sacred code—“do to others as you would have them do to you”—and Christian principles, including prayer and “peace that passes understanding,” make an appearance. Readers will feel a deep affection for these intelligent, appealing characters, as they trudge through difficult decisions and forge a way forward—with the promise that more of Giantopia is to come.

Takeaway: Imaginative adventure blending fantasy elements and Christian principles.

Comparable Titles: Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Andrew Peterson’s The Wingfeather Saga.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A