Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Collinsfort Village

by Joe Ekaitis

      Collinsfort Village features an unusual cast of characters. There's a griffin who writes fantasy novels, a bear with an amusing devotion to his car, and a highly artistic dragon. Two of the three live in a cave near Collinsfort Village - a community that is clearly quite progressive in its approach to unusual neighbors. Fundamentally, the book is made up of some rather unrelated plots. One involves the possible "outing" of the griffin's secret author identity. The other concerns the griffin's fear that the villagers like his roommate better - causing the griffin to launch into some rather ill conceived self-improvement strategies. And the last story focuses on the dragon, an old friend of the griffin. Seems the dragon hasn't flown in years, and the griffin intends to find out why and give his friend back his wings. All of the stories are fun, interesting, and end with a satisfying sense of completion. But the combination does give you the lingering sense that someone has smooshed his short story collection into a novel.

I had a little trouble believing one of the characters - no, not the griffin, bear, or dragon. It was a boy who just happens to know more about everything than your average college professor and turns out to have some hidden talent we had no reason to anticipate when it pops up 3/4 through the book. That could be the result of combining short stories into a novel. Cohesion is tricky. Still, if you keep your eye on the wilder members of the story cast - you'll find the book witty, charming, and immensely readable.

The Book

WindRiver Publishing
February 2006
Trade Paperback
Middle Grade Fantasy
More at

The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2006
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
© 2006