Radio interview about the book - WOR - 11/12/17:
Reviews for ADAM’S LAND by Alison Pockat - from Indie Book Reviewers
Review of Adam's Land by: Karen Matthews - Indie Book Reviewers
I really enjoyed “Adam’s Land” by Alison Pockat, and I think the author is onto a really great idea here. It is entertaining, engaging and educational all in one. I’m not one for rehashing the plot (that’s what the summary is for on the book description page), but it encompassed far more than I thought it would, and had a solid combination of action and adventure with Adam ‘shrinking’ down to live amongst the smallest of creatures (and have interesting conversations with them as well!) and learning about various forms of life and organic systems, friendship and even some danger (just enough to make it exciting!)… It’s not an overly-complicated read, but it will take you through whole different lives and experiences that you’ve never thought of before, and it was so interesting to really experience the behaviors and personalities of animals, insects and other forms of life close up and personal in an entertaining way. From a racoon to a newt to a bee to a cricket – and especially Adam – the characters were well done and believable (even though usually animals don’t talk!) I thought the author’s narrative prose was on point for younger characters/readers; the way she brought the scenes to life, and her attention to scientific and details of nature gave this story genuine value and authenticity. World building is absolutely crucial in selling a believable story that can entertain yet stay true to the “facts” and realities of the world (in this case the living organisms in a tree/forest) Not only did I really enjoy reading this, I actually feel like I learned something more that I didn’t know before. Great editing and a very cute story all around. Would recommend for grades 5 and up. (5 stars) Karen Matthews
Review of Adam's Land by: Stacy Decker - Indie Book Reviewers
So. Much. Fun! Who ever said that science is ‘boring” certainly never read a book by Alison Pockat before! “Adam’s Land” is definitely one of the most original and fun ‘educational’ novels I’ve read in a long time! I was drawn in from the intriguing opening pages, and loved Ms. Pockat’s use of the different bugs, insects, and animals as characters, and her wonderful attention to detail when imparting crucial educational information (in a fun way!) that also feels like a natural part of the storyline. We feel transported not only into the various character’s / creature’s ‘world’ but learn more about them and their experiences connecting to the other life forms in their ecosystem. It was an interesting… and at times quite fun look at life in a tree, woods, soil… from some very unique perspectives that are way better than just what you read in the school text books. The only thing was that I wish it had some pictures, it just seemed like they would be a perfect compliment. Recommend for ages 12 and older. (4-5 stars) Stacy Decker
Review of Adam's Land by: Laura Clarke - Indie Book Reviewers
Alison Pockat really knows how to give science a shot of fun fantasy! First, I have to say that I don’t normally read books like this, but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing – I have a younger nephew and thought he might be interested in something like this. Plus, I liked the concept of Adam shrinking down to live amongst the small lifeforms as one of them, as opposed to just teaching us about them. Each chapter has a different focus, with different animals and bugs each with distinct names and personalities (which the author notes closely resembles them in real life). Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on “Adam’s Land”! This was a fun and informative experience, and lots of fun for a book that could have easily ended up feeling like some recycled schoolbook lecture. Far from it! There is such energetic, but direct writing, and the characters are all authentic and genuine, Everything worked well---Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…In all honestly this is a very different type of book that I think people will be surprised how much younger readers can learn and have a fun time doing it – because you really open your eyes from a different perspective and I think that is important. This book is rooted in science (and fantasy!), but there is also plenty of action and crazy events so younger readers are sure to stay interested. (5 stars) Laura Clarke
Review of Adam's Land by: Nicole Hasings - Indie Book Reviewers
“Adam’s Land” by Alison Pockat seems to have something of everything that kids (and even adults!) will enjoy – magical/fantasy elements, new friends and crazy situations, brushes with adventure and danger and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to enjoy something super unique while learning at the same time! Such a fun approach, I think, to really giving a more ‘personal’ angle to the storyline with Adam and the organisms he meets, instead of just relaying “facts’ and commonly known information – it really infuses a creative take that puts the readers right in the action in a more personal way. There are a lot of characters here vying for screen time and wanting to be heard, and I was impressed by the seamless narrative transitions, and while I did think the beginning was a little too slow and would like more dialogue than narrative (or Adam’s personal thoughts) once it picks up it is much better (after he shrinks in the bubbles). This novel will probably appeal mostly to middle-graders and I think they will like it. (4 stars) Nicole Hasings
Review of Adam's Land by: Jhonnie Parker - Indie Book Reviewers
I confess I am of somewhat mixed feelings on this book, “Adam’s Land” by Alison Pockat. On one hand it is very well-written with a great premise (youth ‘magically’ shrinks to live inside a bubble and visits with talking organisms and life forms). But to me I felt like this book was almost too much at once, and seemed to lose focus of the central point and kept going off in different directions – I guess I just couldn’t really feel a specific plot and understand Adam’s goals… things just “happen” and are narrated to us along the way. I feel like it would have been better if it were shorter and more focused, with fewer characters bouncing into the mix, one after the other, even though they all do bring something useful to the story. I thought the beginning was a little to ‘telling’ – hard to explain, just didn’t feel the urgency or ‘hook’ that pulls me in and make me invested where I just had to keep reading. But it does get better, and I do like how it all tied together . I thought that the delivery method of ‘teaching’ while being ‘entertaining’ was effective, and I chuckled a few times and definitely learned something new. Is a nice niche that I can see younger readers really enjoying (3.5 stars) Jhonnie Parker
Review of Adam's Land by: Anabella Johnson - Indie Book Reviewers
This book was surprisingly good! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing, but it was all I could do though not to rush it… this definitely isn’t a typical fantasy or even science book, but really ‘living’ it with some fascinating – and very real-- characters who will open your eyes to life underground, or in a tree in a whole new way! I enjoyed Alison Pockat’s literary “voice” and style of writing. The various interweaving character storylines with each chapter focusing on a new element were intelligent, well-developed and not predictable, and gave me new appreciation to things that most of us never think about! (I’ll feel bad spraying for ants and fungi form now on! Lol). The characters were all charming and interesting in their own way, and did a great job of teaching about themselves in the course of their time in the spotlight. My only real complaint was that I found myself yearning for more conflict – kids like to feel very engaged and that happens when there are high stakes and threats that make them want to see their ‘hero’ survive. There is a little of that here, but I think it could have been a little more intense. But we do have an adventurous ride and are swept up in the action with Adam and his ‘friends’. I still enjoyed this book more than I was expecting to, mostly due to the descriptive, brisk writing style, the realistic characters (talking personalities not withstanding) rooted in scientific facts and the solid world building. This is a great mix of fact and fiction and I think the author can take this concept into even more stories. Recommend for ages 12 on up. (4 stars) Anabella Johnson
Review of Adam's Land by: Steph Coleman - Indie Book Reviewers
“Adam’s Land” by Alison Pockat was great and I read the whole thing in two nights, which is fast for me! But it was just so interesting to read and I never wanted to stop, even late into the evening. I was mesmerized by the world Pockat created, one so realistic and vivid, where we really feel like we are in there in the tree with Adam and his new friends. Each chapter opened new doors to this hidden world, and showed us more about some insects and other animals that generally don’t get a lot of attention or hype, like a worm, fungus, crayfish, newt, and so many others… It all flowed smoothly from one to the next, never a “boring part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead. Actually the opposite. The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with Pockat’s word choice, and with the conversations with the characters. I felt like I was genuinely there with Adam experiencing this fascinating view of this world through his eyes. I learned about some of this stuff in school years ago, but had never read a book that did so in such a clever and exciting way and with an authenticity that demonstrates Ms. Pockat’s knowledge and passion for her subjects. I would love to read more from her in the future as she has a true gift for creating a well-thought out story and bringing memorable characters to life and I feel like I have more understanding of this part of nature. A great read for middle-graders on up. (5 stars) Steph Coleman
Review of Adam's Land by: John Goldman - Indie Book Reviewers
I liked “Adam’s Land” by Alison Pockat - It is well-written, lively, witty and actually pretty informative on topics that no one really teaches you or talks about (at least, not from what I really remember in school). Great energy and articulate writing (good editing too) that gives you useful and interesting information, but doesn’t bury you with useless facts or unnecessary details. . Each part was written well and covered intriguing topics with enough depth to be useful and interesting, but still remained an easy and enjoyable light read. I like how well everything is explained and described and Ms. Pockat narrates in an engaging and personable manner. Would read more from her and could see a book like this being in Jr. High libraries. It might be too long for the younger ones, but maybe not. (4-5 stars) John Goldman
Review of Adam's Land by: Cody Brighton - Indie Book Reviewers
Solid writing, great premise, great research/facts, great execution…. Overall a terrific read that I feel really opened my eyes to different aspects of nature in a way I never much thought of, but I am so glad that I now know! I think this type of book is a great idea because often times children can resistant to reading books that are ‘educational’ and they want it to be fun and interesting – well, it can be all of that, as this book is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking… I definitely learned so much more than I anticipated I would. Very creative with an impressive blend of facts and with an engaging, flowing narrative that makes it fun to read. Professional formatting and editing is also noted. Would be interested in reading more from Alison Pockat in the future. (5 stars). Cody Brighton
Review of Adam's Land by: Nancy A Edmondson, Professional Educator
January 1, 2018
What a great adventure! Travel with Adam as he explores his own back yard, meeting many friends we often think of as foes! This fictitious story whisks the reader away to travel a familiar, but vastly unknown, land just outside his own back door. I was thoroughly engaged as Adam met insects, amphibians, and animals we often take for granted. The author, Alison Pockat, uses this fun story to help the reader see the real-life purpose of each creature, including fungi. Rich in vocabulary, this book would be an excellent classroom resource to use when teaching life sciences, particularly ecosystems! It can also be used to touch on physical science as well.
Review by Margaret Ordoubadian,
Faculty Emeritus at Middle Tennessee State University, English Department
Adam's Bubble, by Murfreesboro native Alison Pockat, introduces soil science in an engaging fantasy aimed at children in grades 3-5.
Adam, playing with a special kind of bubbles, finds that he can enter a huge bubble. Once inside, he and the bubble become smaller and smaller as he is jumping up and down. Now he has become the size of an ant in a floating bubble.
When his bubble lands on a leaf, he meets Fergus, a fungi, who gives him some sound scientific information about fungi and their role in plant life.
From there he floats up to a flower where he meets Betsy, a carpenter bee. As Adam moves from place to place, he encounters a toad, a wood roach, a cricket, an earthworm, an ant, and finally a mushroom.
The author has given each character a distinct and interesting personality, and she solves the problem of Adam's returning to normal size in a way that is reasonable in the fantasy and satisfying to the reader. Her dialogue is natural and appropriate for her readers and yet filled with factual information. It is an informative book that contains all the attributes of good fiction for children.
Alison Pockat is a graduate of Oakland High School and Middle Tennessee State University. She has practiced landscape architecture in North Carolina for the last 25 years, and she worked with the Soil Conservation Service earlier in her career. Her mother Mary Pockat lives in Murfreesboro, TN.
Review by Mera and Arnie Eisen, Book Daily Jun 14, 2010 07:06 EST
Soils story that will capture the imagination of children and ...
Of the many, many children's books almost none describe life under, in, and around soil. Considering the preponderance of home gardening, whether indoor in pots, on terraces, or in backyards small or large it is surprising how little information or instruction is available for children who are often involved in planning, participating, and maintaining a subteraneum ecosystem that produces the vegetables and fruits on our table.
Alison Pockat's book, ADAM'S BUBBLE, displays a fascination with insects that will capture the imagination of children and adults alike. The vocabulary can be read and understood by an eight year old, and if read by a parent or teacher can easily hold a childs attention. The narrative envisions a child who shrinks to the size of an ant and becomes encapsulated in a soap bubble that brings him underground, in a tree, an ant nest, a bee's nest , where he meets fungi, crickets, worms, toads, wood roaches, crickets, all who work to break down plant and animal waste to help create organic matter for a healthy soil.
This is a brief, lucid book for young children describing some of the insects that inhabit. and interact with each other to enrich the soil and create the conditions that bring forth a multiple and life enhancing bounty.