Kai Zu and the Orphan’s Pyramid: A Cartoon Novel
1030 Books (2010)
Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 8) for Reader Views (08/10)
“Kai Zu and the Orphan’s Pyramid” by Kamenn Lechiffe is the story of eleven-year-old Kai Zu whose parents abandoned him as a very young child. He was a foster child, but foster care ends at eleven. On his eleventh birthday, Tina, the foster mother he loved, brought him to the Orphan’s Pyramid. It has seven levels filled with challenges that the kids have to get through to get to the top. Students who get to Level Seven, get sent to a boarding school. Those who don’t make it in time…..well, nobody knows what happens to them.
The Pyramid is the application process which says who goes on to the boarding school and who doesn’t. Most people don’t make it. After all, to get through the Pyramid, one has to get past the Brown Meanie (a mutated squirrel), the Hippity Hoppities (giant rabbits with weird symbols all over their bodies), the Purple Chubby (a chainsaw-wielding puppet) and more. There is a manual to help kids get through the Pyramid but on Level One no one has time to read it because they are too busy playing video games, watching TV and eating anything and everything they want (except for cereal). On the other levels, they are too busy surviving the challenges to worry much about the manual. That is really too bad because the manual would have been helpful.
When Kai Zu was dropped off at the Pyramid, he was commanded to stick his arm into a hole in the Pyramid. He was stung by something and then was told to pull out his hand. There was a small watch-like contraption surgically attached to his wrist. The watch told him how much time he had until he would “expire.” Nobody knows what happens when one expires, but no one wants to find out. When he first entered the Pyramid he met his roommates and some other friends. The book is about how he and his friends work together to get out of the Pyramid. Who will make it? And who won’t?
The book’s cover states that the book is a “cartoon novel.” There is a small line drawing at the top of each page. I liked the little pictures, but I think it is an overstatement to call it a cartoon novel. The book wouldn’t be much different without the drawings.
I would recommend this book to everybody. It was funny. Once I started “Kai Zu and the Orphan’s Pyramid,” I couldn’t put it down.
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