BLOG TOUR: Benotripia: The Rescue by McKenzie Wagner

by McKenzie Wagner
Sweetwater Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4621-1014-8
Middle Grade Fantasy
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from copy provided by publisher for blog tour.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.


When her mother---the ruler of Benotripia---goes missing, Roseabelle knows she'll need the help of her best friends and their combined powers to survive the perilous journey ahead of her, rescue her mother, and save Benotripia! Written by a young author, this exciting adventure story pulls you into a true fantasy world. A suspenseful and addicting read!


Mckenzie Wagner is eleven years of age and has adored reading since she was four years old. Her love of books inspired her to write a book of her own and she completed the first book of “The Magic Wall Series”, “The Magic Meadow and the Golden Locket” at the early age seven and the second book “The Blue Lagoon and the Magic Coin” shortly hereafter. She has now expanded her writing to kids of all ages. She wishes to obtain an English degree and teach and continue in her pursuit of her love of writing. She currently resides in Utah, with her mom, dad, and her eight-old brother, Ty.  To find out more about Benotripia and the author Mckenzie Wanger, visit her website:


Roseabelle and her friends, Jessicana and Astro are fun characters with some interesting powers. Powers I wouldn't mind having, like being able to change into a bird. I'd never need another car. :) Astro can shoot lightning from his fingertips which is cool in a fight, maybe not so practical in the real world.  Roseabelle and her friends live on the island of Benotripia, where Roseabelle's mother, Danette governs. Roseabelle and her friends attend a training school where they are learning to use their powers, but everything changes when Roseabelle's mother is kidnapped by Darvonians.  Roseabelle and her friends are almost captured themselves when Darvonians come to claim a special pouch that Danette left with her daughter.  They quickly determine to follow the Darvonians and get Roseabelle's mother back.

The plot has a lot of potential, unfortunately it doesn't come off completely believable. One of the big things about fantasy is that it needs to be believable regardless of the 'magic' involved. Here we have three eleven-year-olds acting with the logic and reason of much older characters.  There is a lack of believability in their actions.  In addition, the way the plot unfolds isn't very logical, for example, following the Darvonians on a raft? Meeting a huge sea monster and not losing any of their supplies? I think the biggest problem was that I didn't find the kids reactions realistic and there is not a lot of world-building.

However, despite the weaknesses, which I'm not sure a child reader would even notice, the book is a light, fun, read with a nice quest plot and interesting characters.  This young author has a lot of potential. I would love to know more about the two different islands and why they are such enemies. I do admire the determination of the three kids to rescue Danette. A fun adventure for early middle grade readers with lots of creative fantasy elements.


  1. Wow. Can I just say I'm amazed at a book written by an eleven-year old? I'm sure she'll grow into her "writing powers." Until then, I applaud this girl for her accomplishment! Wish *I'd* started writing that early!


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