July 2012 Indie Next List
“This is a gorgeous fantasy unlike anything Schmidt has ever written. With exquisite pacing and deft plotting, he tells two parallel stories: one about a faraway Middle Earth-like world in trouble, and the other about Tommy Pepper, a sixth-grader in Plymouth, Massachusetts, grieving the recent loss of his mother. When a beautiful object that represents the heart of that faraway world hurtles through space and lands in Tommy's lunchbox, everything begins to change. This book will astonish you!”
— Joanne R. Fritz, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
The Valorim are about to fall to a dark lord when they send a necklace containing their planet across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion stars . . . all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Mass.
Mourning his late mother, Tommy doesn't notice much about the chain he found, but soon he is drawing the twin suns and humming the music of a "hanorah. "As Tommy absorbs the art and language of the Valorim, their enemies target him. When a creature begins ransacking Plymouth in search of the chain, Tommy learns he must protect his family from villains far worse than he's ever imagined.
“Schmidt brings high heroic fantasy and contemporary realism together in this novel.”—Horn Book, starred review
“Spielberg, get ready for this boldly imagined outer-space offering.”—Kirkus
“Schmidt, already a best-seller and award winner, should pick up even more fans with this crowd-pleasing fantasy.”—Booklist
“Wonderfully strange. . . . This inventive and memorable story for readers ages 10-15 manages to mingle the quotidian and the movingly supernatural. It's funny, too.”—The Wall Street Journal
"The balance of emotions is flawless."—Bulletin