The Lost Da Vincis by Don and Aneladee Milne

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Stars: ***1/2

I recieved this book for review from the author.

Summary: In The Lost Da Vincis, four resourceful home school siblings discover their parents and youngest brother have disappeared. Was it caused by their scientist father’s new invention going terribly wrong? Will the children be able to find their parents before it’s too late? Will they be able to keep it a secret? Will their father’s chief rival ruin everything? Children of all ages will enjoy reading the adventures of 14-year old Sophie, 13-year old twins Frankie and I.T., and 11-year old Eddie. Will they find The Lost Da Vincis?

I received this book when I saw it mentioned on a GoodReads forum and mentioned that I review books on a blog. The authors were nice enough to send me a copy. I was interested because there aren’t that many fiction books out there that feature homeschoolers. This book was picked as a Book of the Month. You can preview chapter 1 here.

I thought that the plot of the book was awesome. It’s different, not entirely believable but definitely would be interesting to the age group it’s targeted for. However the subtitle of the book is a little confusing and makes you think the book is about something else. The subtitle is: “A tale of four home schooled children who lose their parents.” This sounds like the parents died.

The writing itself definitely could have been better though. It didn’t really sound to me like it was written by professional writers but I believe this is their first book so that could account for some of it. I do think it needed more editing.

What really brought the star rating down though was the way the narrator made fun of homeschooled children. I assume a book with homeschooled children in it written by homeschooling parents would be trying to raise awareness about homeschooling and that homeschooled kids aren’t that different from schooled kids. However the narrator of the story was constantly putting the kids down:

“The Da Vinci children are about to discover that they are, at least for the moment, orphans. I am sure if you were in the same terrible situation you would do the right thing and call the police. Sad to say, the Da Vincis, as you are learning, are anything but normal. Doing the normal thing is the last thing they would do. As you will see.” – pg 17

“…Oh, these teachers get training but not by an accredited
. And there is no one who makes sure they are doing things the right way. It used to be that older home school kids would move back into the high schools for education, now that was sensible, but now these commonwealth schools are making it possible for kids to be home schooled all the way up to college. Because of this, the sad fact is that more kids will not turn out to be like normal, regular, public school kids. What is America coming to?”
– pg 36-37 (emphasis mine)

Do you see what I mean? I think the authors were just trying to identify with public school kids who may be reading this book and trying to guess what they are probably thinking but having this in the book is NOT going to make homeschooled kids more accepted.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.