We have been reading the first two books in The Hamelin Stoop Series from 12 Gates Publishing. We received both Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge (Book 1) and Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna (Book 2) as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. As always, all opinions are our own.
Reading is something to can bring joy to a person. It can also help to form your worldview. Sometimes you find a book or series that merges the two experiences.
While I adore many young adult and adult titles, they often have thematic content which a younger student is not quite ready to encounter. Or, maybe as a parent you just aren’t ready for them to start contemplating more adult topics.
The Hamelin Stoop Series seeks to bridge that gap. The books are written for middle school students in mind.
About the Hamelin Stoop Series by 12 Gates Publishing
Hamelin Stoop is a series of young adult fantasy books written by Robert B. Sloan.
The main protagonist of the stories is Hamelin Stoop. He is a foundling child whose unusual name comes from a town name in the smeared note his birth mother left with him and the fact he was found on the back stoop.
This young boy comes to learn that he has a mission to his life.
Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge (Book 1)
A young couple is on the run with their newborn son. They do not want him to fall into the hands of their pursuer, so they devise a scheme to make it appear that he is dead. However, he has instead been left at the Texas children’s home where the couple met.
In this title, you follow Hamelin’s youth at the orphanage.
Readers also hear about some of the nefarious things occurring in the faraway land of Ventradees where the ruthless Ren’dal is trying to fulfill his father Chimera’s desires to control many worlds. Over time, Hamelin’s parents, Johnnie and Simon, begin to see that they are key players in this power grab and that hiding their son was a most excellent decision.
On his 8th birthday, Hamelin runs away from the orphanage. All those who he loved and loved him have moved on in their lives and no one remembered his birthday. On this journey, he meets a large eagle who tells him that in fact he is being summoned by the Ancient One. But, the quest will not be easy with a test of courage required before he can enter the Atrium of the Worlds.
Book Trailer for Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge (Book 1)
Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna (Book 2)
Readers of the first book learn that Hamelin was unable to pass the test when he was 8. But, his encounter with the eagle left such an impression that he does eventually have a second chance when he is 11.
This title begins after Hamelin has made the journey across the Tunnel of Times to the Atrium of the Worlds. There he begins to see how much wider the universe is compared to his little part of Texas. And, the great eagle informs him of a quest involving two other young people in the Land of Gloaming. Successful completion of the quest may eventually lead to his learning about his parents and being able to rescue them from Ren’dal.
Readers will be on the journey with Eraina who seeks her lost sister Charissa and Lars who seeks the jewel stolen from his land of Periluna which provided light to the kingdom. Each of them are presented with special gifts from the ‘Hospitable Woman’ to help on the journey. A scarf of sight that banishes illusions they may encounter. Shoes of speed which give Lars both balance and speed. And, a sword of death which is invisible while sheathed on Hamelin’s side, but exacts huge energy when pulled for a one time use.
My Thoughts on The Hamelin Stoop Series (Books 1 & 2)
These titles are definitely written to capture the upper elementary and middle school kids who long for a depth of story. Both titles come in around 300 pages and require the reader to pay attention to many different threads through the stories.
I have noticed my boys become more selective with what they are reading. So, I elected to read the titles first.
Like other titles written with a series in mind, there is a lot of groundwork established in the initial title. For a child who wants to dive in quick and be entertained right out of the gate, this title might slightly disappoint. I found that I needed to keep reading to let the layers unfold before becoming hooked into the story.
The setting of Texas in the 1950s may seem slightly foreign to the modern child. However, there are many themes presented when Hamelin is at the children’s home which they can understand. Like a bully in your life. Or a longing for connection to others.
In the second book, readers are treated to more fantastical lands. Yet, readers are able to quickly begin mapping it all out in their minds as they read.
Final Takeaway for The Hamelin Stoop Series
I can see this being a title which my almost 10-year-old will read with enthusiasm. Without completion of the series, I can not say if I fully agree with the one endorsement comparing it to the Naria Chronicles. Only time will tell if this series meets that comparison.
You can tell that Mr. Sloan has overarching Christian themes in the title. This is best summarized by this quote from the first title:
“We can never know all of the Ancient One’s reasons for what he does, but, I assure you, he often has bigger reasons and purposes than simply making us happy.” – Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, the Cave, and the Footbridge by Robert B. Sloan
However, it is a great series for those kids who want longer novels and parents who want to make sure the books are clean for their malleable minds.
Do you and your family enjoy fantasy titles?
Would this particular series be appealing to your family?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit The Hamelin Stoop Series review post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this book.