Keeper of the Lost Cities (KOTLC) is a book series by Shannon Messenger, written for middle school students. My children introduced me to the series in 2020. I got it for them for Christmas that year, but I only started reading it in 2021.
Fantasy does not grip me. I have a hard time with elves, ogres, gnomes, and dwarves. However, the kids talked about it so much and showed me so many memes online about KOTLC that I realized I should read the series. If nothing else, it will give me a common vocabulary with them.
There is something to be said about sharing a book or a movie or expressions and situations from a book or a movie with your children. It’s your family’s culture.
Slowly, I have made my way through the first eight volumes and now I am in volume 8.5. The last volume, number 9, will come out in November. Each book is long, over 700 pages, and there are a lot of characters to keep track of. My children read this for pleasure and I like how it has enhanced their understanding of the elements of a story: plot, setting, characters, climax, resolution etc.
Values and Disney
This book series also helps you discuss values. Some characters lie, others don’t. There is teenage angst and several characters have crushes on each other. A couple almost kisses, while another couple shares a kiss neither enjoys. The main characters are between 12 and 15 or so, but then there are adults in the book, too. So all these attempts at dating gave us ample opportunity to discuss the implications and drama that accompany dating. Even the book characters talk about how their life would be so much easier if they had no boyfriend/girlfriend complications – and many choose not to.
All in all, this is such a good story, that Disney will bring it as a series to the general public with Ben Afleck as a director. You might want to read the books as soon as possible, because the screen version will probably not do it justice.