Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review # 190: Eutopia - The Discovery by Kathy Motlagh / Illustrated by Rich Greiwe

     Kyle and Kameron are playing in the snow when all of a sudden they fall into a strange portal and discover another world - Eutopia. The new land is barren and colorless, most of its residents asleep and unknowing of the changes, but a few guardians remain conscious. These guardians must teach Kyle and Kameron how to practice their virtues and awaken the ones that can restore Eutopia. Unfortunately, the creatures of planet Vice destroyed the perfect world once, and will not think twice about doing it again. Can the brothers help mend Eutopia and restore its virtues? Or will the Viceans return to finish what they started?

     Eutopia: The Discovery is a discovery indeed. Every primary school should be teaching these virtues and values to children, because they are emotional/physical skills that stay with us for life - Hope, Peace, Enthusiasm, Cleanliness, Honesty, Forgiveness, Love, Grace, Courtesy, Helpfulness, Empathy, and Humility. When I was in school we were taught this stuff, but nowadays even my nieces and nephews do not understand some of these concepts. It is a shame that educational systems are focusing so much on "higher-level" learning that they are forgetting the basics - life skills. Kathy Motlagh has written an immensely entertaining, yet educational, children's fantasy that I would call a mix between a picture book and an early chapter book. At 124 pages, it is a good length for children in third to seventh grade depending on the child's reading level; every couple of pages there is a beautiful illustration by Rich Greiwe, ranging from monochromatic to a rainbow of colors following the books progression. I was surprised how effortlessly the text and illustrations meshed with one another, bringing the story to such a peak, however, I did not like the abruptness of the ending. Kids are notoriously impatient, (maybe educators should be teaching that in schools too), so I cannot see a ~nine year old waiting for the continuation/completion of the series without complaint. The characters and dialogue are more developed than in books for younger kids, but even a five or six year old would enjoy having this book read to them. Overall, a wonderful resource for children and educators. I will be passing this book along to a few teachers I know, and I highly recommend it for kids seven to twelve. I'm 24 and I cannot wait for book two!

Visit the Think Virtues Website for more info!

Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Bostick Communications) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author: (from

     Kathy Motlagh is the writer and creative force behind the Eutopia book series and products, and managing director of Think Virtues. Motlagh, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, has taught art at the Montessori School of North Hoffman for the past twelve years and been an active board member of the school since its inception twenty years ago.

     Motlagh’s business experience includes eighteen years in the mortgage banking industry, where she has been featured in business publications as one of the top female financiers in the country. A recipient of many business awards and accolades, she has helped over two thousand families realize their home buying dreams.

     Motlagh resides in Chicago and involves her family, including her six and seven-year-old sons, in community service and fund raising activities for many non-profit organizations and causes.

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