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The League of Freaks and the Secret Key [Kindle Edition]

Alberto Hazan

Kindle Price: CDN$ 3.32 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

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Product Description

Product Description

"Embrace your differences."

That's what Shree Mandvi's father is always telling her.

If only he knew just how different she really is.

Being a teenage girl from the Bronx is not what makes Shree stand out at her new private school in Cambridge—it's her ability to turn into a bee. And she’ll need her newfound powers when she discovers a map-filled book from the 1600s claiming that there's a mysterious key—and hidden treasure—lost somewhere under the campus of Harvard University.

With the help of four freaky new friends, each with their own secret powers, Shree must race to solve an ancient riddle. If she succeeds, she will unlock the final door.

But first, she must summon her powers in time to save herself and her friends.

About the Author

After graduating from Harvard University, Alberto Hazan attended Stony Brook Medical School. He trained in emergency medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, where he was chief resident. Since then, he has worked in clinics and hospitals all over the world, including Morocco, Nepal, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Haiti. As a former Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner, Dr. Hazan continues to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault in both New York and Las Vegas, where he currently practices emergency medicine. He is the author of the medical thriller "Dr. Vigilante" and the young adult urban fantasy series "The League of Freaks."

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2431 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: VB Publishing; 2 edition (Aug. 17 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EPZ2BY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,352 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Charming Story Feb. 3 2011
By PA Protagonist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The League of Freaks and the Secret Key is the latest book that dips into the urban fantasy genre. The success of Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series has created a good fanbase for this type of book. First off, I'd like to say that I am an avid reader, and read about 50 books a year, primarily sci-fi and fantasy novels, including the aforementioned Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series.

The League of Freaks is a well written introductory book (first in what will be a series) that explores the life of Shree Mandvi. Shree starts out as your typical teenager. She soon discovers more about herself, and the book focuses on this journey of her inner discovery and uniqueness. She, in some ways, reminds me of how Jean Grey would have been in pre X-Men Evolution days. She then finds others with their own "uniquness," and an adventure begins. Although intended for younger readers, adults can take pleasure in reading it as well. Comparisons popped into my head of The Goonies, which many adult readers probably watched as children. The Goonies was an 80s movie, which I can simply sum up as "a fun adventure." In the Goonies, a band of 7 children have to set out on a quest to save their homes. Similiarly, in The League of Freaks, a group of strangers, later friends, need to unite in the name of exploration and problem solving!

I'd like to touch now on some of the positives of this book. The character development is a huge plus in this book. Shree starts out in a new town and school, and the book goes through the process of meeting new people and making new friends. Most of us can relate to that. The author, Dr. A Hazan, does a nice job of fleshing out the characters as well, which is a great foundation for a series. It's also refreshing to have such a culturary diverse set of characters; the main character is an Indian female! It's a nice spin on the usual male dominated lead role.

Another positive in this book is the story itself. Its well-written, simple enough for children yet intriuguing enough for adults. The story also creates a loathsome bunch of villians, which makes it easy to cheer for the heroes and root against the villians, aka the Demons. The good vs evil battle is an eternal one, and I look forward to reading about the future encounters between the two grouops introduced in the novel.

One comparison I am not yet ready to make is to the most popular Harry Potter series. It's too hard and unfare to try and put it head to head with such a beloved (and finished) series. However, there is potential here for readers looking for another great series. Bottomline: this is a book for children and adults looking for a fun read with interesting characters.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book July 15 2010
By Gerard McMahon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I Really enjoyed this book. I am a Huge Harry Potter, CS Lewis, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl fan and put this up there with this book. Its great for adults and kids to read together. VERy Very highly recommended - A Real Page Turner.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fonda for your brain Sept. 14 2010
By adam maloof - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is completely impossible not to love the group of freaks that come of age in this novel. Normally, I read fiction each night in bed to help reset after a long day of work and to fall asleep in short order. But Hazan's book kept me up all night. I'm no expert in young adult fiction (although I love Roald Dahl and am not a big Harry Potter fan), but when you can't put it down even in the middle of the night, I think that is a good sign. Hazan makes it so easy to despise the villains, love the freaks, and get absorbed in Cambridge and Harvard University. Well done!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars be yourself July 15 2011
By aobibliophile™ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You were born an original. Don't die a copy. - John Mason

Shree Mandvi bids farewell to her life in New York and moves to Massachusetts with her parents. on their way to Boston , they stop at a strange diner where she discovers a book about a treasure that John Harvard has hidden somewhere in Harvard University. once the family gets to Cambridge, she settles into her new home, new surroundings and new school. however, she is unsettled by the changes in her body and discovers four other people with strange abilities. bonding together to form The League of Freaks, they search for John's treasure and for the secret key that would open it.
facing a new life among strangers can be frightening for anyone especially for young people. things even get more complicated and daunting when one is different from within and without. Shree has to put up with the bullying, name calling and more. what is it about "not fitting the norm" that makes other people envious or hateful? why is it sometimes so difficult to understand and accept that each individual is unique? is it because we find it hard to accept and understand ourselves too?
i was really fortunate that i never encountered discrimination or bullying during my student days. i do sympathize with Shree and her friends and with what they had to go through to fit in.
i feel sorry for the rich spoiled bullies that made the freaks' lives miserable. i believe that these types are themselves frightened or lonely and are just reaching out for recognition and acceptance but doing it the wrong way.
i think that the book is telling us to feel good about ourselves, to be respectful of each individual's uniqueness and to make use of the special gifts or talents that we have been born with.
this urban fantasy by Alberto Hazan is an entertaining read from start to finish and would certainly find a place among young and mature fans of the genre.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Well in the Classroom! July 5 2011
By Mrs. K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The League of Freaks and the Secret Key by Dr. Alberto Hazan is an exciting, entertaining, yet thoughtful book. As a middle school teacher, I am always trying to find new and interesting way to have my students make meaning of curriculum and experiences in the classroom. For these reasons, I thought this book would be a great supplement to my Study Skills course curriculum.
The book gets your attention right away with the action-packed prologue. You are immediately thrust into the middle of an intense scene that leaves the reader in extreme suspense to uncover how Shree, the protagonist, and her group of friends could get themselves into such a hopeless situation.
The reader is then carefully introduced to the diverse groups of characters that make up the "Freaks". As the first book in a series of seven fantasy novels, The League of Freaks and the Secret Key does a nice job of taking its time with character development. I thoroughly enjoyed how these characters were not the most good-looking, popular kids in school; yet normal teens that did not fit a cookie-cutter description.
Interwoven in the plot are life lessons and morals that my students and I also appreciated. I sometimes used these positive themes in the book as prompts for their daily journal writing activities. Simple dialogue statements like: "Power comes when you really need it" or "Embrace your differences" stimulated wonderfully diverse and well-written student responses that tied their own personal experiences to the book. As a culminating activity, I had the students write a review about the book. Here are a few responses that demonstrate this book's positive impact:

"The book is written so well; every chapter will leave you hanging in a place you will want to crawl out of."

"The biggest relief was the unpredictability. [I was expecting] a generic ending. Thankfully, I received a metaphorical roundhouse kick to the face leading me to wonder the ultimate question a good book [asks] `What next?'"

"I was pleasantly surprised with this book and with the character of Shree Mandvi who, unlike many characters in young-adult fiction, shows actual depth and emotions."

"'The Freaks' became more solid... and they built up to be relatable teenagers whom I found myself sympathizing with. The book stands for a beautiful message of individuality and encourages young children everywhere to be different."

"...this was a thrilling novel with underlying twists and turns that really kept me intrigued. I was really able to connect to many of the day-today troubles that [The Freaks] face at their school."

Overall The League of Freaks and the Secret Key is a well-written, powerful story that was a pleasure to read and a success in the classroom.

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