I’ve known about ARC’s for many years. I even own several that a professor gave to us during my children’s lit class back in college. But despite the fact that I’ve been writing about children’s books for years on this blog, it didn’t occur to me to ask publishers for advance copies to review here until last week.
I went ahead and sent emails to several different publishers, and held my breath. To my surprise, I opened my front door a few days later to not just an advance copy, but a finished copy of Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett, which celebrated its #bookbirthday yesterday! Thank you, Little, Brown and Company!
What drew me in to request a copy of this title was the comparison with Ella Enchanted, which was a beloved favorite growing up. When it comes to providing a magical world with every fantasy-based creature imaginable, Tracy Barrett does not disappoint.
Marabel is an almost-13 year old on a mission to save her twin brother, the Chosen One of Magikos who has been kidnapped by the ruler of the Barrens, but she’s also on a mission to find herself — her voice, her courage, and her determination. Crossing the wall into the realm of “Evils,” she leads her friend Ellie and the talking unicorn Floriano into an adventure that challenges bravery and friendship, as well as everything she has ever been taught about magical beings.
I loved watching Marabel’s story unfold, especially in the second half of the book when she really begins to question what she has always known and come into her own as she owns her power and contributions. I was surprised at times at how easily certain plot points resolved, especially with regards to more rigid elements like her father’s stubbornness and the Book of Fate itself, but perhaps that’s something that will be revisited in future books in the series. 4 stars.
A perfect read to recommend to ages 8-10, and perhaps a contender for a classroom read-aloud!
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto
4 Replies to “Review: Marabel & the Book of Fate (aka, my first ARC book review!)”
Thank you so much for the lovely review! I’m so glad you like Marabel. Book 2 (Marabel and the Runaway Wish) is in copy edits, and I’ve just started on Book 3 (title TBD)!
Congratulations!! That is wonderful!
how do you know when a book is coming out that you want to review so you know when to ask for a advanced reading copy?
Hi! Some authors may post on their social media profiles about new books coming out, which can be a great way to know if you want to ask for an ARC. You can also just reach out to authors you know and love to see if anything new is coming and ask for an ARC of anything they are working on. You can also find websites and apps where you can request ARCs. I hope this helps you on your reading journey!