\ Young readers book *The Joshua Files: Invisible City* by M.G. Harris - Curled Up With A Good Kid's Book
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*The Joshua Files: Invisible City* by M.G. Harris- young readers fantasy book review
The Joshua Files: Invisible City
by M.G. Harris
Grades 5-8 368 pages Walker Books July 2010 Paperback    

Maybe youíve heard that an ancient Mayan calendar predicts that the world is going to end in the year 2012. Itís one of those crazy stories that gets started, and suddenly everybody is freaking out about it for no good reason.

Or is there a reason?

Thirteen-year-old Josh Garcia learns the hard way that crazy stories can sometimes be true. His archaeologist father is an expert on Mayan culture, and his most recent expedition leads him to new information about the calendar and what it means.

Itís only after Dr. Garcia dies in a suspicious plane crash that Josh begins to wonder what sort of work his father was really doing. Between the ridiculous story spun by the authorities to explain the crash and the mysterious emails about a missing Mayan document his father was sending to Mayanists all over the country, Josh has to believe that someone is covering up something, and heís determined to get to the bottom of it all.

Starting a blog to record his search for the truth, Josh is surprised to get comments from a sixteen-year-old girl who just happens to live in his city. While most people think Josh is a kid with a vivid imagination, his blog fan believes heís onto a conspiracy of some sort and encourages him to stop what heís doing before something terrible happens to him. Or is she just trying to throw him off the trail of his fatherís killers? You never really know whoís on the other end of an Internet connection, do you?

Josh isnít about to walk away, though. His fatherís reputation, his motherís sanity and the future of the planet are at stake. What started as a teen boyís attempt to make sense of his fatherís death quickly becomes an epic adventure story full of stunning twists and hidden dangers.

Invisible City is a page-turner with substance, a fantasy with facts, a young adult novel that appeals to all ages. M.G. Harris has developed a unique young protagonist for The Joshua Files series, one who is both likeable and believable, possessed of all the charm and courage of an Indiana Jones but with martial arts skills instead of a whip.

Invisible City is written in small chunks interspersed with Joshís blog posts, making it just the thing for todayís readers who want their information quickly and Twitter-ish. The use of different typefaces adds to the quick read, although the font used for the blog posts is a bit hard on the eyes.

As a storyteller, however, Harris excels by deftly incorporating details of Mayan culture without slowing the flow of the tale. Clearly intended to be only the first in a series, Invisible City provides readers with a satisfying conclusion yet leaves us with just enough unresolved mysteries to make us eager for the next installment.
 
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