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The Call to Shakabaz    by Amy Wachspress order for
Call to Shakabaz
by Amy Wachspress
Order:  USA  Can
Woza Books, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Perhaps every family holds some secrets. But four recently orphaned children are about to discover a family secret beyond their wildest dreams. Doshimi, Denzel, Maia, and Sonjay step into an unknown world that their aunt introduces to them. Early one morning she awakens them and takes them to a small cottage near her home. Once inside, their relatives give them four amulets and special items they will find useful on their journey. These children are to travel to the faraway land of Faracadar and retrieve the Staff of Shakabaz from the evil enchanter Sissrath. And if that weren't difficult enough, they are told they must discover the path to success themselves.

The Call to Shakabaz tells a story that will keep readers involved. Once Doshimi, Denzel, Maia, and Sonjay reach the land of Faracadar they are each faced with learning about their special new powers. Each one of the children needs to discover the core within themselves - their true qualities that will help bring peace to the inhabitants of Faracadar. They are forced to expand their minds and cross cultural boundaries. They learn to value each one of their siblings' contributions to their adventure. Doshimi, Denzel, Maia, and Sonjay struggle with tough dilemmas and questions, although in essence their struggles are similar to those that people face beyond storybook worlds.

Amy Wachspress spins a wonderful tale of four children growing up. Although the story is written for ages nine to fourteen, it is equally enjoyable as a read-aloud story to younger children. The adventures are enthralling as the well-developed likeable characters travel over the ocean, under the ground, and into the deepest dungeons of the Final Fortress. In the end, they must find a way to help good triumph over evil - which is always a tale worth listening to.

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