Thomas Templeton and the Year of the Vivificus

D.W. Spinola 
CreateSpace (2014)
ISBN: 9781499137583
Reviewed by Nicollette Violante for Reader Views (03/15)

"Thomas Templeton and the Year of the Vivificus" by D.W. Spinola is a fast paced adventure, with the very first page of the book drawing the reader in immediately. Thomas Templeton, the novel's protagonist, is a caring and kind nine year old boy who has a special connection with animals. He is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to study at the prestigious and unique Animalia Magnus Academy, where they teach students to talk to animals. Thomas, who was always the odd one out in his hometown, finds himself with kids just like him as he embarks on a new adventure. There is similarity to Harry Potter in the sense that Thomas feels isolated among his family and townspeople. This novel is great for children eight years old and older. Children will love Thomas’ bravery and kindness, and parents will love the novel’s teaching points, from animal cruelty, to following their dreams, to bullying, “Thomas Templeton” is a win for both kids and adults.

Charming, well written, clever, and inspirational, I enjoyed “Thomas Templeton” more than I thought I would. I wish this novel had been published when I was younger. I am a huge animal lover and this book does well for those who bond easily with animals. “Thomas Templeton” is not only clever and charming, but it is fast paced, adventurous, and full of plot twists. Some, admittedly, that I saw coming but still fun nonetheless. D.W. Spinola has a vivid imagination and a detailed way of writing; I could picture perfectly the scenes as I was reading. Children will pick up great vocabulary as well, along with a new appreciation for fantasy and animals.

I highly recommend “Thomas Templeton and the Year of the Vivificus” by D. W. Spinola to young readers and their parents; a great fantasy book with a great story and message. A 5-Star read!